Relief Efforts Alta Talamanca
Yesterday ATEC’s Susana Schik and Glenda Miller, Jonathan from APPTA, Baco and Luis from Manzanillo & ReciCaribe, and I took the recycling truck up to Bambú in upper Talamanca to distribute donations. We stopped by C & J’s Market, Duende Gourmet, Super Pirripli, Super Old Harbour, ATEC, and Amelia’s Sewing Shop in Cahuita --she had a ton of donations from the Lion’s Club of Guapiles and folks of Cahuita-- to pick up generous donations of food, water, and clothing. (want to give credit to the businesses helping out, so you can help them out too) We also stopped at the hardware store to pick up equipment for emergency supplies to get a provisional water system set up for the community of Yorkin--deep in the heart of the Talamanca Mountains.
We finally drove through BriBri about 1 PM, it was full of people, seems like there are still lots of families living temporarily there--in the school and the college and in other buildings. There was a big line of people waiting for supplies with the Red Cross. We took the 10 KM wet road up to Bambú and dropped off about half of the supplies with Don Danilo--a good friend who works with the tribunal in BriBri (the government.) He is famous for his fairness and he knows everybody up in remote areas who aren’t getting much if any aid and will distribute supplies as equitably as possible. We put the other half of the supplies and the pipes and supplies for emergency water system on a boat to go up to Yorkin.
Cesar, from Yorkin, told us they really did loose everything: at least three boats, the suspension bridge, their water system, their septic system (even the toilets) their lodge, their communal kitchen. Everyone is safe though.
He also told us this information:
There are 45 families (220 people) in the community of Yorkín Proper.
There are four other small surrounding communities: Shwab with 23 houses, Brei with 7 houses, Dakli with 10 houses, and Guabo de Yorkín with 12 houses.
So about 97 houses total, we’re thinking about trying to focus on supporting this area as it is SO Remote and they have lost So much. Everybody kept saying “what we need is FOOD!”
It was so interesting to hear Cesar and the other guys with him talk about how many families are in each community..."well, there’s my uncle, my great grandfather, your aunt, and George there, and each community was like that; my grandpa, my cousin, my friend.”
The crops are 100% lost.
But Cesar and everyone we talked to was in pretty good spirits. Laughing like they always do and so smiley and glad to be alive and safe.
We’re going to meet with folks from the BioFuel Cooperative--with lots of connections up in the areas of the banana farmers --and the ATEC board of directors--we work with lots of remote areas with eco-tourism projects-- and consult with the donors and tourism boards to make sure there are a lot of big brains in on the decision of what to do with generous cash donations.
So folks, thanks for your donations past and future, I wish you could have gone with to see the happy faces of folks receiving generous donations from you guys and from all of their neighbors in Old Harbour, Cahuita, and the Coast.
ATEC--Association of Ecotourism and Conservation
011 506 2750 0191
011 506 2750 0398