“Solo el pueblo salva al pueblo.” (Only the people save the people.) This is a common saying among the people of Honduras. They cannot rely on the government’s support. There are doubts that the government has the ability to reconstruct the country’s infrastructure, and restore the delivery of public services such as water, housing and electricity. There is some foreign aid being sent in, and the most reliable help comes from NGOs, including Esperanza-Hope for the Children, Inc.
It’s been more than a month since Hurricane Iota hit Honduras, and two weeks prior was Hurricane Eta. There were 94 deaths and the storms affected four million people causing the level of poverty to rise 10%, surpassing 70% of the population. Almost one third of the population has been displaced, leaving behind their homes, animals and livelihoods.
One of the greatest concerns is water. There are 3,800 water supplies serving 2.9 million people which were affected. People are bathing in rainwater, relieving in sewers and drinking from rivers which contain dead animals. The next crises will be outbreaks of dengue, malaria, leptospirosis and/or cholera. Although there are treatments, few can afford them and will have no choice but to continue drinking contaminated water.
There is also a big concern about P.T.S.D. having suffered multiple traumas in succession. Some feel as though an entire generation of progress has been set back. They’ve lost all their possessions, there are very few sustainable economic opportunities and many feel their only choice is to join a caravan heading to the U.S. Others remain behind, relying on their faith and joining others’ spontaneous mobilization of solidarity. Despite the extreme poverty, somehow they still manage to help their fellow neighbor.
Although there are now more people in severe need, the outpouring of support from Esperanza supporters has been profound. We express our sincere gratitude to all of you and want our Honduran brothers and sisters to know “no estan solos.” (You are not alone.)