Sadness, Grief, and Uncertainty... Millions lost with huge fire in the Terminal Market, Guatemala City
GUATEMALA CITY. The largest wholesale market in Central America, with over 4,500 tenants, was largely destroyed by a devastating fire on 25 March 2014, shattering the lives of thousands of self/employed vendors and their families.
It is estimated that about 3,000 people visit it daily since it is possible to find variety of products and is located in the heart of the capital city.
Around 1600 stalls were destroyed by the fire, consuming all the products that were stored in these sections of the market. The disastrous situation becomes tragic when we consider that many of the tenants are now unable to trade, not only lacking vending space but also having to recover their capital and selling products. This is a big blow to the Guatemalan people's economy; many merchants are migrants from rural areas who have sought better opportunities for living and working in the city. Right now they cannot use the facilities and many sellers think this tragedy could have been avoided and even many businesses saved if there had been enough water to stop the initial fire, but the fire fighting operation continued for almost 12 hours.
Call for Support
As an Organization of Self-employed Workers of Guatemala, we empathise with vendors affected by the raging fire which destroyed the La Terminal Market market at zone 4 of Guatemala City. This central market housed an approximately 1600 formal tenants and a similar number of sellers in the surrounds without taking into account hawkers. In this tragedy over 3000 self-employed vendors have lost the product of their efforts, gained with great sacrifice, as well as their income to support their families, leaving many workers in debt. The incident has to be carelessness or malicious behaviour.
In this time of crisis we hope that "politicians and government" do not take advantage of this situation because it is not just to play with the pain and suffering of those affected.
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