While the focus of Avivara is primarily on education and working with schools, Guatemala often challenges us with needs that go beyond education. Such is the case with the village of Xeatzan Alto. A little over two years ago a slow moving landslide developed underneath the village, and since then large crevasses have opened up, destroying the foundations and walls of houses and in the school.
We have met with the village elders about their situation and have taken film crews, civil engineers and other visitors to the village to see and document the ongoing destruction (see photos and powerpoint below). Unfortunately, it is likely that the situation will only get worse as the rainy season here continues to erode away the ground.
The village leaders have met with local and national government officials, but so far there has been no response from them indicating that there would be any assitance forthcoming to the village. So, the people of Xeatzan Alto have asked us to help publicize their plight as well as help them raise money as a down payment on other property where they can move their entire village. (Their current property is owned communally and they would like to keep their families together and their community intact.)
Just this last week, five families were forced to flee their homes because the mudslides from the recent heavy rains destoyed their houses. They are now living in a temporary plastic shelter with no electricity or running water. Avivara has established a special temporary fund to help these five families relocate. If you would like to help, you may make an online donation to this special fund below.
“The village of Xeatzan Alto is in danger of completely sinking. It is urgent to move the families to a safe place.”
I would like to donate to the Xeatzan Alto Relocation Fund
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Surveying the growing crevasses
Walls and foundations disintegrating
Article 25 of the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights states:
“Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livlihood in circumstances beyond his control.”
You can help the children of Xeatzan Alto not be denied this basic human right. Please share the PowerPoint below (in PDF format) with friends or organizations that you think might be able to help. (Note: this file is 2.2 Mb in size, so it may take a minute or so to download depending on your internet speed.)
If you would like more information regarding the situation in Xeatzan Alto, please feel free to Contact Us.
Xeatzan Alto Relocation PowerPoint in PDF Format