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Miami-Dade Officials Launch Relief Aid Drive For Guatemala Volcano Victims

Tim Padgett
Former Guatemalan volunteer firefighter Federico Cruz joins Miami-Dade Commissioner Jose Diaz (left) and other Miami-Dade officials at Diaz's district offices to call for relief aid donations for Guatemala volcano victims

Rescue workers have suspended efforts at the Fuego volcano eruption in Guatemala, which has killed 109 people and left 200 missing. Officials in Miami-Dade County – home to a large Guatemalan population – launched a drive for relief aid on Thursday.

Close to 100,000 Guatemalans reside in South Florida. That’s one reason county and municipal officials gathered at Miami-Dade Commissioner Jose Diaz’s office to call for food, medicine and other essentials to send to Fuego volcano victims.

Along with Diaz’s District 12 office, they announced six donation sites in:

●Doral, at 8401 NW 53rd Terrace, Mon-Fri 9am-5pm

●Hialeah, at Goodlet Park, 4200 W. 8th Ave, Mon-Fri 1:30pm-9:30pm, Sat 9am-noon, Sun 2pm-5pm

●Medley, 7777 NW 72nd Ave, Mon-Sat 9am-4pm, Sat-Sun noon-4pm

●Sweetwater, Jorge Mas Canosa Park, 250 SW 114th Ave, Mon-Fri 8am-5pm

●Virginia Gardens, 6498 NW 38th Terrace, Mon-Sun 9am-4pm

●Hialeah Gardens, Westland Gardens Park, 13501 NW 107th Ave, Mon-Fri 9am-5pm

Joining them was Federico Cruz, a former volunteer firefighter in Guatemala who is talking to rescuers at the volcano site.

“They describe that like a nightmare movie," Cruz said. "Guatemala is a green country, but all the color there is gray, and no life.”

Virginia Gardens councilman Richard Block said his Guatemalan daughter-in-law’s family had to evacuate away from the volcano zone.

“What they’re saying is that the explosion is something like Mount Vesuvius in Pompeii," Block said. "It’s not a pretty scene.”

Tim Padgett is the Americas Editor for WLRN, covering Latin America, the Caribbean and their key relationship with South Florida. Contact Tim at tpadgett@wlrnnews.org
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