FFTP Partner CEPUDO Providing Relief, Assessing Needs of Honduras Fire Victims
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Oct. 5, 2021) A team from longtime Food For The Poor partner CEPUDO is assessing damage on the small island community of Bonacca Key, off the Honduran island of Guanaja, where families are recovering from a massive fire that destroyed 90 homes and damaged more than 100 others.
The team is distributing aid and determining long-term needs for families who were displaced, and in many cases lost everything.
Initial emergency supplies arrived by airfreight within hours after the fire erupted and larger items are arriving by boat today.
Residents of one of FFTP’s 15 fishing villages in Honduras also used their small fishing boat to deliver donated mattresses to help those taking refuge in shelters.
“We were able to respond quickly with aid and we will continue to help these families recover in the days and weeks ahead,” FFTP President/CEO Ed Raine said. “We’re grateful to our partner CEPUDO for assuring relief is getting to the families who need it most and for the volunteers who rushed to the CEPUDO warehouse in San Pedro Sula Saturday to package food kits, clothing and shoes, and emergency response kits.”
FFTP has 25 containers of food, medicine and medical supplies, and other critically needed aid to Honduras either at the port there or en route at sea.
The charity is mobilizing an additional air freight kit in its Coconut Creek warehouse and sending an additional emergency preparedness kit to replenish the one deployed over the weekend. Each spring, FFTP pre-positions critical relief supplies to help in-country partners respond immediately if a hurricane or any other disaster strikes.
Emergency supplies include generators, stoves, cots, tarps, blankets, water purifiers, masks, baby items and hand sanitizer gel.
Awakened by a neighbor shouting for help in the middle of the night, Terry Brooks grabbed two buckets to help fight the fire, never thinking it would destroy his own home.
“I told my wife, ‘I’m going to come back and let you know if things get out of control,'” Brooks recalled. “I was so busy that we couldn’t save anything. My wife saved five changes of clothes. Everything else got destroyed.”
Despite losing his home, Brooks remained strong in his faith and was grateful for CEPUDO’s help.
“We’re strong with the Lord,” he said. “This shows what we have we can lose it in a moment, but God still gives us the ability to get it back. We have been getting a lot of help. Thank God this has touched people’s hearts to come help us.”
Ruth Humpreys, a Guanaja resident, was busy helping neighbors and praised the immediate response.
“We are extremely grateful for all the help that has been given, even if we weren’t directly impacted by this fire. As neighbors, we would never be able to provide this quantity of goods and help,” Humpreys said. “I was in Hurricane Mitch, so it’s like déjà vu for me. I have firsthand experience 23 years later, so this means a lot that I can help in return.”
Guanaja’s Mayor Spurgean Miller told The Associated Press the fire destroyed 90 homes and damaged 136, leaving about 800 people homeless, and consuming about 40 percent of the key. No deaths have been reported.
To help families recovering from the fire, please go to www.foodforthepoor.org/guanaja
FFTP began serving in Honduras in 1999, after the Central American country was slammed by Hurricane Mitch in 1998. The charity works with its partner CEPUDO, which is based in San Pedro Sula, and the Order of Malta.
Since inception, FFTP has built more than 9,400 homes in Honduras. And last year, it shipped 346 tractor-trailer loads of essential items to the country, many in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to back-to-back hurricanes in November.
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry children and families living in poverty primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for vulnerable children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.
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