Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sad times in La Montaña of Mexico

This past week I have been visiting communities throughout La Montaña of Mexico, and I've seen firsthand the difficult realities of the people who lost family members, homes, animals, and crops during Tropical Storm Manuel. I personally saw more than one thousand families (families, not persons!) living under pieces of plastic, and, believe me, it's cold and windy and still raining in the high mountains here.

I don't have the words to express the incredible challenges facing these families. Here are just a few photos. If a photo really is worth a thousand words, the first two photos are symbolic of the reality of the people here.

Santiago and his wife, Gregoria, showed me what was left of their house in Chuparosas:

Then Santiago started crying as he talked about what his future might look like:

In Moyotepec, more than six hundred families are living in plastic "tents" above their village; the fear is that the mountainside will continue disintegrating and completely wipe out the village:

In San Miguel Amoltepec el Viejo, that same fear exists. The top third of their village was already destroyed, and the soil above the village is still very loose. Can you, the reader, pick out the red roof in the middle of the gravel of the one school building that survived the landslide? The school used to be surrounded by other houses; those houses simply don't exist any longer:

And the big problem this year, besides housing, health, education, etc., is going to be hunger. The people tended to plant their corn on the mountainside and (even better) near rivers. Anything near the rivers was not only destroyed; what used to be fertile areas are now filled with rocks, gravel, and sand. Some families were lucky; for example, the family that owned this field in Lucerna lost only a part of their mountainside crop:

The struggle will go on. Mission Mexico will do all it can to accompany this afflicted people. Thank you for your support and prayers.

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