Guatemalans Still Struggling in Quake's Brutal Aftermath

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Guatemala is still recovering from a major 7.4 magnitude earthquake last week as well as a major aftershock Sunday that claimed the lives of 44 people. 

Crumpled cars and collapsed building stood as testimony to the worst earthquake in Guatemala since the 1970s.

But in the aftermath of the devastation in San Marcos and the surrounding areas, it was the human suffering that seemed to speak the loudest.

"Today San Marcos is suffering," Victor, a Guatemalan resident, lamented.

The government now estimates 24,000 people have lost their homes, including people like Odilia, a single mother of four. 

"We lost everything -- our house and everything that was inside it," Odila said. "We were very scared.  Now what we need is help to survive."

CBN's Operation Blessing was among the first responders and has been working hard to bring that help.

The aid group brought trucks with 20,000 pounds of food, water, household and personal items which had been assembled into "family bags" back at the charity's warehouse.

When volunteers weren't handing out bags in organized distributions, they went to homes and shelters in the surrounding communities where the needs were just as great.

In the days that followed, Operation Blessing also brought additional assistance: a truckload of bedding, more water, more supplies, and  medicines. 

One teen girl named Lady suffers with lupus. Without medicine, her pain is debilitating. Courtesy of Operation Blessing, she now has enough medicine to last six months. 

She expressed her gratitude, for the most part, without words. 

Meanwhile, Odilia, who's is staying with her children in the shell of a building that was once her home, was given a bag filled with food and other commodities as well as two foam pads to sleep on.

"Thank you," she told Operation Blessing. "You are very kind."

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Ken Hulme

Ken Hulme

CBN News

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