Armed with tamales and a whole team of volunteers, renowned chef José Andrés traveled to Guatemala four days after the eruption of Fuego volcano, to feed the masses.
Andrés is most popular for his small delicate tapas, but throughout the years, these small plates have turned into big missions.
In Guatemala, Andrés and his team of 12 volunteers, have been preparing a total of 6,000 meals a day to feed those who have been affected by the volcano eruption.
The eruption claimed more than 90 lives, thousands were displaced, and even though there are shelters, many are run by volunteers and don’t have a feeding operation.
With the help of local government, private sectors, and other non- governmental organizations, Andrés along with his nonprofit, planned an effective feeding plan to deliver meals to 18 distribution points.
After Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, Andrés and his team served over 3.4 million meals since they arrived in September. They continue to help the island.
The team also sent out volunteers during the California wildfires and to Hawaii after the Kilauea volcano eruption.
In Guatemala, the team is running three kitchens and six food trucks.
The logistics of working in another country is challenging, said Nate Mook, a spokesman for World Central Kitchen.
“Although Puerto Rico was hit hard, it was ultimately still in the United States and had support from the US military and other organizations,” he said. “The shelters here are far more informal, and evacuees are quite vulnerable here.”
Due to some of the road conditions and ongoing effects of the eruption, delivering the food has been quite dangerous.
“The volcano still has potential to be very damaging without us knowing. We were in Ceilán the other day and lava began coming down but we were not aware of it because the thunderstorms [got mixed up] with volcano noise,” Andrés told CNN.
Andrés and his team plan to stay in the country for about a month.