Houstonians gather to help Guatemala volcano victims

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As rescue workers in Guatemala search for survivors after an enormous volcanic eruption, Houstonians are helping out.

Shriner's Hospital in Galveston confirmed five or six severely burned children are on their way to Galveston for treatment.

Volunteers are also accepting donations at restaurants around Houston.

"We want to help, we want to do something," explained Cheto Pelico, whose sister lives near where the volcano erupted. "But being far away, there's not much we can do."

"To be in a situation like that, I'm sure it's not easy, knowing that you can't run away with it, because you don't know when it's going to happen," said Maria Galeana, whose family lives in Guatemala.

The Consul General for Guatemala confirmed at least 66 people have died in the eruption and more than a million have been affected.

The volcano erupted in a rural area.

"The infrastructure in Guatemala prior to any natural disaster is not the best, just like in any developing nation," said Cesar Espinosa with FIEL Houston. "So we see there was already a need prior to the volcano erupting, there's a need now, and there will be a need unfortunately in the future."

"The majority of people who live there are poor people, and now with this, it's terrifying," Pelico said. "It's melting my heart."

If you'd like to donate, you can drop off non-perishable items to Guatemala Restaurant at 3330 Hillcroft St. Houston, TX 77057.
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