• Print

    Pacific Students Help Out Victims in Recent Guatamala Disasters

    Jun 9, 2010
    In the past month, Guatemala has been hit by several natural disasters. The Pacaya volcano erupted on May 27, showering a nearby village with burning rock and closing the Guatamala City Airport. Several days later, on June 1st, tropical storm Agatha struck the country, killing 172 people, washing out 24 bridges, damaging more than 7,000 homes and creating a giant sinkhole in downtown Guatamala City.

    Students from University of the Pacific stand next to a truck that has aid for a small village in GuatamalaWitnessing this devastation are 23 Pacific students who are in the country studying the culture as part of Professor Katie Golsan's Spanish Immersion Program. The students, located in Antigua, are all safe and are still scheduled to return to Stockton on June 18th. Until they return, though, they have pitched in to help the residents of the Guatamala.

    Christina Espinosa, who just graduated from the School of International Studies last month and has volunteered to run the Integrated Development Program for Pacific's Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship, sent an e-mail to Pacific employees earlier this week letting everyone know that all the students on the trip are safe and healthy. She then explained what the students were doing:

    "After learning of the destruction we decided to gather food and medicine to donate to the local town called Ciudad Vieja where three of the teachers from our school live. Students from University of the Pacific, the host families we are staying with, teachers from the school, and various people whom own businesses along the same street as the school donated food, clothes, and medicine to the local town," she wrote. "This last Saturday a few of us went to deliver the items to the mayor of the city. While there we had an opportunity to pass out food and water to the people volunteering to clean the mud out of the streets and houses."

    The students were interviewed by the country's national news stations for their assistance. The video of University of the Pacific Students meet the vice president of Guatamala while they help with rescue and aid efforts there after the country suffered two natural disasters in the same week.their interview can be found online at Telediario.com.

    In addition, the students met the vice president of the country who thanked the students for helping with relief efforts.

    Espinosa added that more can be done to help Guatamala and the residents of Ciudad Vieja. While the students are returning in about a week, Espinosa and Golsan plan to stay in the country until July 1. Anyone interested in helping can contact Espinosa at c_espinosa1@u.pacific.edu.



    University of the Pacific Students pack food and other goods for residents of Guatamala after two natural disasters struck that country.