Israel's ZAKA Trains Guatemala Emergency First Responders

Guatemala named a new neighborhood the “Jerusalem” neighborhood as a nod to its notably warm relations with Israel and, more specifically, in appreciation of the humanitarian efforts led by ZAKA following the disastrous volcano eruption in the Central American country. The Israeli community emergency response organization, ZAKA, had set up a Guatemala unit months earlier to train representatives from both the local Jewish community and the country’s emergency services in search and rescue techniques. The team was able to assist not only in the disaster relief efforts, but also in garnering funds from international organizations for building new homes for the evacuees. ZAKA was founded in 1995 and was recognized by the Israeli government in the same year for its tireless efforts identifying bodies and preparing them for a proper and dignified Jewish burial following a terrorist attack or any other sort of disaster.