Yesterday morning was a buzzing here. Lengthy discussions about the American election results were in full force and we were busily catching up with Corey Hunsdon who had just arrived back in Tecpán. We are thrilled to have Corey here for the next four months. (Corey had visited and volunteered for a couple of weeks back in January). He is back to help build beds and kitchen cabinets. He’ll be assisting with our gardens and agriculture and anything else that could use his expertise and energy!
Every chair in the office had someone hard at work. Corey was touching base with his family, letting them know he had arrived safely. Susan was hard at work booking hotels for our Spring Break groups. Claudia and Greg were catching up on bookkeeping stuff. Nico was sweeping the stairs. The dogs were sighing loudly in hopes we’d notice that they’d like to go to the “finca” soon. No, NOW!
Suddenly Susan and I looked at each other and said. “Earthquake”. We’re all pretty accustomed to the rumbles and it’s always interesting to see who notices first. Everyone else stopped what we they were doing and we all looked at each other as the momentum picked up. This was really different from the others. It just kept going. So we got going!
We all made our way down the stairs, leashed the dogs and headed to the street. Our neighbours too, were filling the street. One guy yelled out “that was a good one!” The shaking finally stopped. We all paused, noting that we were all still shaking!
Once back in the house, I started Googling and following Twitter. Turns out the epicenter of the 7.4 earthquake was near Champerico. Tecpán got off easy. San Marcos was not so lucky. As of today 48 are dead and many missing. This is the largest earthquake in Guatemala since the 1976 earthquake that left 23,000 dead. I was deeply sobered reading all this.
Once again, I am reminded just how precious life is and how quickly things can change.
My heart goes out to those affected by this devastating earthquake. I know it was mentioned on the news around the world yesterday and that by now, most have moved on to other newer more “exciting” stories. Meanwhile, those devastated by this most recent disaster are having to recover, heal and restore their homes and their lives.