Nearly seven months ago, Guatemala was hit by two devastating hurricanes, Hurricane Eta and Hurricane Iota. To this day, those impacted by the storms are still picking up the pieces and in the process of recovering.

In early November, Hurricane Eta crossed Central America and affected millions of people as constant rain and heavy winds resulted in flooding, landslides, and crop damage across multiple countries, including Guatemala.

Flooding after the hurricane

Just two weeks later on November 17th, Hurricane Iota made landfall over northern Nicaragua as a Category 4 hurricane, the strongest Atlantic hurricane in 2020, and made its way along the same path as Hurricane Eta. While Iota quickly degraded to a tropical depression, the second round of rain and wind made matters worse and added to the previous damage from Eta.

A community delivering supplies by boat

The hurricanes destroyed countless structures, including businesses, homes, and schools. Among those impacted by the storms was a CoEd Textbook Program school in Campur, Alta Verapaz. 

And this wasn’t just any textbook school: Campur was one of the first schools to ever receive CoEd books, way back in our THIRD year of program expansion—1999! Over the years, the school has worked diligently to maintain the program, saving enough student fees in their revolving fund to upgrade their books on schedule every few years. In fact, they’d just purchased their newest books in 2017-2018.

So you can imagine how devastated they were when flooding struck Alta Verapaz particularly hard compared to the surrounding regions, and Campur lost every single one of their hard-earned textbooks due to water damage.

CoEd’s Subdirector of Programs, Augusto, standing in front of the school

The school building affected by the hurricane floods

Knowing that a program school was in that area, our Textbook Program team contacted the principal immediately following the hurricanes. Once our team heard the news about the school losing their books to the floods, the team reviewed different ways to help.

Thanks to a generous foundation and contributions from donors who gave to our emergency relief fund last year, we were able to purchase a whole new set of books to replace the ones lost in the flood!

In total, 876 new textbooks were delivered to the school in Campur!

The new textbooks sitting in the school, ready for students to take them home!

To celebrate the arrival of the new books, a small group gathered safely at the school and held a socially distant ceremony.

Despite the unbelievable challenges this school has had to overcome this past year, including a global pandemic and the devastation of two hurricanes, these students will now have the resources to continue their education and rise up above the hardships they’re facing.