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Volcán de Fuego


The Background

My name is Rick Caldwell and I am privileged to be one of the leads on this Volcán de Fuego relief project. Seven years ago, shortly after the 2011 eruption of Fuego, I was fortunate to be able to be part of a medical –dental mission serving in that area of Guatemala. Over the last two years, our dental team has returned to the area and we are working with a local partner, Quesada Solidaria. On these missions, we have seen firsthand, the needs of the people that extend beyond health care, and the work that Quesada Solidaria is doing to try to meet those needs.

So when the current eruption occurred, my assistant, Iris Renderos and I wanted to do whatever we could to try to help those impacted. We have developed a relationship with people in these communities and know that they desperately need help now. Discussions were held with Quesada Solidaria about how best to help.

Recently, Devxchange reached out to us in a positive manner with a significant contribution to our cause. We have been able to work through the logistics of securely getting all of our current funds to our partner in Guatemala. At the same time, further investigation and discussion with the Devxchange staff have made it clear that this will be a better platform, going forward, to continue with this for future projects.

Our Project

The need right now is to rebuild and re-supply houses for those who lost everything. Quesada Solidaria has been involved in building simple but secure homes in this area in the past. I have seen a number of these houses and they are practical builds. This is the rainy season and permanent shelter is needed as soon as possible. Overcrowded temporary shelter is not a long term solution.

Our Need

Our goal is to raise $10000.00 as quickly as possible and then get it into the hands of our partner for deployment on the ground. The cost to build one of these houses is about $5000.US. To date , we are just shy of 50% of our goal. All funds raised so far are now in the hands of our Guatemalan partner. Regular updates and photos, as the funds are utilized, will be posted on this site.

Rick Caldwell

Rick Caldwell is a semi-retired dentist living in northern Ontario. As a lifelong volunteer, he has been active in projects as varied as avian research, local theatre/live entertainment venues and professional associations as well as with philanthropic organizations. Oral health care of indigenous and other under served populations has always been a special part of his work life. This continues in philanthropic efforts in both Canada and Latin America.

Iris Renderos

Iris Renderos is a dental assistant and massage therapy student. She enjoys outdoor activities and spending time with her daughter. Iris shared with us, “volunteering on many mission trips to a number of countries has allowed me to fulfill one of my biggest passions-helping people in need.  I have lived in Canada for 27 years, but was born in El Salvador. It is an honour for me to travel to Spanish speaking countries and be of assistance, and my intent is to continue helping in any way I can.

Helping those in need brings so much joy to my heart. There’s nothing more fulfilling than a hopeful, appreciative smile. My desire is to always be the gloves that God uses to help those in need. ”

August 29th 2018

For those who have supported our Volcán de Fuego Relief Fund, the land has been secured, the materials delivered and house construction begins tomorrow! This has been a little longer to execution than we had hoped but progress is being made. Current photos will be available shortly.
Through our logistics delays, our partners at Quesada Solidaria continue to help the victims of the volcano in other ways. I have included some photos from Aug 17 from a mobile food delivery by Eloísa and helpers.


August 30th 2018

Work continues full bore today. You can see from the pictures that the crew is working hard. Got four rows of blocks down today.
And everyone helps out!


September 10th 2018

This is the update we have all been waiting to receive!! The house that we have funded is completed and the family selected by Quesada Solidaria has moved into their new home. I must send out a HUGE thank you to all contributors, both financial and material(labour and time). Only a team effort got this done. Our partners at Quesada Solidaria are exceptional and we look forward to continuing to work with them in Guatemala.The partnership that arose part way through this project with DevXchange is fantastic and this , too, is something we hope to be able to expand upon in the near future, to the benefit of others in need. Enjoy the attached photos-the smile says it all!!