While the rest of the world stared down the bottomless hole in Guatemala City's Zone 2, the small town of San Antonio Palopó around Guatemala's Lake Atitlan, was digging its way out of the aftermath of Tropical Storm Agatha using sticks, brooms, shovels, and their bare hands.
The mostly indigenous town of 14,000 suffered the destruction of 43 houses, 19 deaths, 2 still missing, 4 hospitalized, and more than 500 people evacuated to six shelters around the town's municipal building. Like many small rural towns in
Here, women and children crowded around to scoop up the muddy water into their large ceramic jars three times bigger than their heads. After the women filled their jars they climbed, sometimes barefoot, over recently fallen rocks and large pieces of corrugated tin and broken wood that stuck out like over-sized muddied splinters. The community's only means of entering or leaving their town continues to be by small boats because the four bridges remained collapsed. This also meant being cut off from supplies, food, water, and machinery to help dig people out of the rubble.