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The Spanish word for “slaughter” is how Fulmencio Eladio describes what unfolded in his Guatemalan village just over one year ago.
Sitting in his family’s small Bradenton rental home with his wife, Alma and their two children, Christian, 12, and Daylin, 8, Fulmencio scrolled through his phone, showing pictures from June 3, 2018 - the day that changed their lives. A girl covered in burns and wrapped in bandages lying alongside a baby. A close-up of charred feet, covered in a black, melted Styrofoam-like substance. Rescuers dragging dead bodies out from the ash.
Fulmencio has told the story a hundred times, but it’s still impossible for him to find the right words to convey the horror of seeing one of the largest volcanic eruptions on planet Earth in decades, with his family directly in the path of destruction.
“We were stupefied by the beauty. It looked like pyrotechnics,” he said through an interpreter. “The rocks were like missiles that were shooting through the air and just killing people.”
As his father told the story, Christian sat quietly with tears streaming down his face. Daylin stared at the ground. The two Samoset Elementary newcomers are still adjusting to life in America, and the new adults in their life are still trying to comprehend the trauma these children have seen.
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