Guatemala Volcano Eruption 2018

“A shimmer of hope”

The ZAKA Guatemala unit was established in February 2018, when 45 volunteers from the local Jewish community and representatives from the local emergency services underwent intensive ZAKA search and rescue training. It was just four months later that they put that training to the test, when the Fuego volcano devastated the area.

ZAKA volunteers were on the scene immediately, helping to save lives, rescue trapped survivors and recover victims – even before the international airport re-opened and emergency forces arrived from overseas. Thanks to the timely ZAKA training, hundreds of lives were saved and the community was empowered to manage the crisis for itself, while working in close cooperation with the emergency forces.

In August 2018, the ZAKA volunteers helped raise money and construct a new 100-home neighborhood for volcano survivors, which was called Jerusalem in recognition of the ZAKA team contribution to the community in times of crisis.


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