In November 2020, two category four hurricanes touched ground in Central America and in the community of Chortis, a remote village of just 40 families located at the top of the Nebaj mountains in Quiché.
Cold weather and rain caused severe damage to the communities’ sources of income: potato crop, and the raising of goats and sheep. Hurricanes ETA and IOTA passed through Chortis in a two-week period, leaving behind a community with economic, food and development challenges more acute and evident than ever.
Through efforts to mobilize resources, USAID´s Communities Leading Development (CLD) project, provided emergency response to the most in need; CLD connected 926 families from 29 communities in four municipalities of Quiché, including the entire population of Chortis with donations from the Latter-days Saints Charities (LDSC) organization and CRS´s Humanitarian Response Department (HRD) for over $243,000 USD.
Donations provided families with much needed food and hygiene supplies; CLD will continue working with communities to access resources and respond with vital supplies and basic services as emergency events strike, prioritizing the most affected and excluded communities in the Western Highlands of Guatemala.
“ETA and IOTA brought us death and more poverty, our animals died from bad weather; extreme cold and humidity killed them. Without animals, we had no income to buy fertilizer to grow potatoes and without that we no longer had food to feed our children” – Francisco López, resident of Chortis.
“Our greatest need was food, that is why I am grateful for the food we received, and with that I was able to feed my children” – Serapia Alvarez, resident of Chortis.