Local women raising relief funds for Guatemala

The death toll continues to rise after a volcano erupts in Guatemala.

Ash and debris cover villages near the Fuego Volcano about 25 miles outside Guatemala City, where two local women grew up.

Officials say 200 people are missing and 65 are confirmed dead.

Jessica Cliche and Miriam Lemon didn’t know each other when they were younger, but have connected since they moved to the Tennessee Valley.

“We know we have a lot of people that live around the volcano and, you know, that’s where they live an they were not ready for that and so it’s really sad,” Cliche said.

Right now, they understand what the other is going through.

“We know how our people suffer every day living with so little and now with this it’s just devastating,” Lemon said.

Miriam started a non profit called Love in Action 7 years ago.

The organization sends doctors and nurses to rural areas because healthcare is almost non-existent outside of cities.

A team is there now already handing out supplies to those in need, but they know it’s not enough.

When the volcano erupted, La Paz Chattanooga, where Jessica works, wanted to help too.

They’re partnering together.

“It’s just when you see the devastation any place it’s hard. When you see the devastation in the country where you grew up and you call your country it’s even worse,” Cliche said.

You can help by going here.

The flyers that describe what is needed by survivors in Guatemala is in the gallery of this story.