Dear EcoViva Supporters,
I returned this week from visiting Ciudad Romero and other flood-ravaged communities in the Lower Lempa region of El Salvador.
Having watched videos of the massive floods that occurred after the levees on the Lempa River broke, and having been in close contact with our partners as events unfolded, I had envisioned an apocalyptic scene. Hundreds of farm animal carcasses strewn about, jumbles of lost belongings covered in sewage, families devastated…
What I found instead was tremendous resilience.
At least at first sight, there was very little indication that the largest flooding disaster in recent history had taken place only weeks before. How could this be?
After returning from flood shelters, the affected families worked alongside our partners and brigades of hundreds of youth from the FMLN political party to conduct a massive clean-up, singlehandedly preventing outbreaks of illness from bacterial diseases. With brooms and shovels and tremendous effort, they cleaned up all 40 villages in only 2 days.
Now these families are working where possible to replant their lost crops, to pick themselves up and start over. Thanks to their organizing efforts, they were able to avert a major loss of human life and a potential public health crisis.
However, the massive loss of crops just before the harvest presents a serious threat of hunger. The need for food is very real. With our partners’ support, the UN’s World Food Program has begun distributing food to families in need.
They are battered psychologically, they face great hardship economically, but they are not going to stop organizing.
On October 20th, our local partners met with Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes, who pledged to fix the levees, improve drainage systems and rebuild local infrastructure. We plan to hold him to this pledge, and to work together with the Salvadoran government to prevent future floods. This week we are taking a group of engineers to El Salvador to assess the dams, levees and drainage systems in the Lempa River watershed. They will present their recommendations to top government officials.
Meanwhile, we will provide support to families to replant their crops, gain access to clean water and rebuild latrines that were destroyed by the floods.
Easy Ways to Support our Work
You can help support community self-sufficiency today by:
Joining our Facebook Challenge
A generous donor has offered to give EcoViva $5 for every new person who likes our Facebook page over the coming month, up to $2,500 in total! With just one click you can help EcoViva raise money AND spread the word about our work.
Shopping Organic for the Holidays
You can also help EcoViva while purchasing a great socially-conscious holiday gift. Zelaya Design, a Berkeley based sustainable clothing company, will donate $25 to EcoViva with each purchase of one of their 100% organic cotton shirts featuring a hand-stitched mangrove tree leaf applique ! Shirts come in either Scoop Neck or Unisex styles. Click here to order.
And as always, you can donate to EcoViva directly to support locally-led sustainable development.
Thank you for your support,