Kilauea was not the only volcano that has erupted this year.  On June 3rd, Fuego volcano also erupted.  Unlike the Kilauea volcano that had no fatalities, there were 109 people who perished as a result of the Fuego volcano.  Volcan de Fuego, which is Spanish for “Volcano of Fire” is a volcano that is always active in Guatemala.  In fact there are little gas and fine material particles erupting from Fuego every 15 to 20 minutes.  Fortunately, bigger eruptions are seldom encountered.  In this latest eruption, Volcan de Fuego had pyroclastic flows, which are hot gas and volcanic material that move rapidly.  These pyroclastic flows are lethal to the population and to the vicinities. From the Fuego volcano, the pyrolastic flows spread to El Rodeo and San Miguel Los Lotes in Guatemala.  As a result of the danger, Guatemalans from those areas were safely evacuated.

 

Since volcanoes have always been interesting for adventurers, there were two early explorers who climber Fuego volcano. In 1881, Eugenio Dussaussay, a French writer, ascended Fuego volcano.   On January 7, 1892. Alfred Percival Maudslay, a British archeologist, also went up to see Fuego.  In addition to Fuego volcano, there are three other active volcanoes in Guatemala: Pacaya, Santiago and Tacana.  There are also 33 nonactive volcanoes in Guatemala.

 

Located in Central America, Guatemala is the ideal place to visit for those who are adventurous.  As a mountainous region, Guatemala has many breathtaking sites of exotic beauty.  The name Guatemala come from the Nahuatt word nahuki, which is defined as a place of numerous trees.  Surrounded by Mother Nature’s green thumb, Guatemala is the place where trees abound.  The Tikal National Park, located in Guatemala, has the distinction of being the first mixed UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The Maya Biosphere Reserve, a popular tourist destination in Guatemala, is the second biggest forest in Central America.  Bosawas is the largest woodland in Central America.

 

Since Guatemala has natural beauty and a rich cultural heritage, two million tourists come to this nation every year.  Tourism in Guatemala is a $1.8 billion dollar business.  When tourists come to Guatemala, they experience Mayan culture.  There are several notable Mayan sites:  Tikal in the Peten, Quirigua in Izabal, Iximche in Tecpan, Chimaltenango and Guatemala City.

 

Many Guatemalans are descendants of the Mayans.  They are a highly intelligent and a nature loving people who have made great contributions to Guatemala in art and architecture as well as in many other disciplines.  The Mayan influence still continues to make Guatemala a cultural oasis and a strong nation.

 

Sadly Guatemalans, many who have Mayan blood flowing through their veins, are suffering as a result of the eruption of Fuego.  We should do all that we can to help them and keep them in our thoughts and in our prayers.