Group raises funds for Guatemalan aid


    International students from Guatemala are working to raise money for their flood-ravaged country to aid their neighbors back home in the wake of Hurricane Stan.These students say they are part of a greater community, one that holds onto its heritage and supports its communities back home.

    A group of eight students from Guatemala have come together to form Guatemalan Hope, an organization that will raise funds to support relief efforts.

    “We are a big community at TCU, so we decided to come together to try to do something for our people,” said senior nutrition major Nicole De Nes, a member of Guatemalan Hope.

    Hurricane Stan struck the Guatemalan coastline two weeks ago, leaving behind torrential rains, devastating mudslides and more than 1,000 deaths to date, according to news reports.

    “I know the community is so overwhelmed after Hurricane Katrina,” said Sandhya Klein, program coordinator for Inclusiveness and Intercultural Services, “but why can’t we help the international community as well?”

    University Ministries, International Student Services, and Inclusiveness and Intercultural Services have teamed up to help in the relief efforts, Klein said.

    “Hopefully, we will get all of the TCU community involved,” Klein said.

    Klein said contributions collected during the Sunday Mass at TCU were donated to Guatemalan Hope.

    Klein said the families of these students were part of the small percentage of those not directly affected by Stan. However, students say their families have still been greatly impacted.

    De Nes, whose mother is helping in the relief efforts in Guatemala, said resources are becoming scarce to even send food to those in need. Money collected will be donated to help provide food, water, medicine and shelter to those who have lost everything.

    “If each student at TCU would give $1, we would have over $8,000 for Guatemala,” De Nes said. “That is a lot of money that would help a lot of people.”

    Klein said Chipotle donated 100 burritos to the students of Guatemalan Hope. They will be sold today at noon outside of the Brown-Lupton Student Center and in the area between Reed and Sadler Halls.

    Those students involved with Guatemalan Hope will be talking to students in residence halls Wednesday night and collecting money for relief efforts, Klein said.

    Students will be outside The Main during lunch and dinner hours throughout the week to sell bracelets, necklaces and key chains, all handmade in Guatemala , Klein said.

    Blue Mesa Grill contributed 100 tickets for a buffet in its restaurant that will be sold throughout the week for $15 each. Klein said the buffet is scheduled for 6 p.m. Oct. 26.

    All profits will be sent to the Organization of the President’s Wife in Guatemala, De Nes said.

    “Really, just any help would be appreciated,” said junior nutrition major Rita Castillo.