Media CenterCRS Assisting with Local Relief Effort in Guatemala after Deadly Volcano Eruption

Photo by Ivan Palma/CRS

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Kim Pozniak
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]


BALTIMORE, MD, June 5, 2018 – Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is responding to Sunday’s “Volcan de Fuego” (fire volcano) eruption in Guatemala, which left entire communities devastated. The death toll from the volcano – currently at 75 – is expected to climb into the hundreds as rescuers make their way to villages destroyed by the mixtures of hot gas and rock – known as pyroclastic flows – that swept down the volcano’s slopes.

"The Church sprang into action immediately by opening shelters and getting lifesaving relief to those who need it. But there is a lot of work to do with so many people impacted by this disaster,” said Luis Rolando Sanchez, CRS’ emergency coordinator for CRS’ Latin America region. “More and more people are arriving at shelters hundreds are thought to have lost their homes. CRS is working with Caritas Escuintla and the local government to coordinate a response that meets the growing needs.”

The president of Guatemala has declared a State of Public Mourning for three days due to the irreparable loss of human lives caused by the eruption. The impacted areas of Guatemala include Chimaltenango, Escuintla and Sacatepéquez districts.  

CRS is coordinating with government and local actors, including the Church, to provide food, water, medicine and other lifesaving relief items to those impacted by the disaster. The Church has also opened three shelters for the displaced, and the number of people seeking refuge continues to grow.  


Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, please visit or and follow CRS on social media: Facebook, @CatholicRelief@CRSnewsYouTube, Instagram and Pinterest.



Kim Pozniak

Director of Communications

Kim Pozniak
June 5, 2018

Based in Baltimore, MD

As the Director of Communications, Kim oversees the communications and social media teams working with journalists and the media to connect them with engaging stories about relief and development programs that are making a tangible difference in people’s lives around the world.

Her previous work at CRS includes handling emergency...More