Hurricanes Eta and Iota One Year Later: FFTP Donors Restore Homes, Businesses, Crops in Honduras, Nicaragua
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Nov. 10, 2021) Families in Honduras are once again sleeping in their own homes while farmers in Nicaragua are replanting their crops, all with the help of Food For The Poor donors, one year after back-to-back hurricanes devastated both countries.
The community of Juan Orlando Hernández in Honduras was one of the hardest hit. Hundreds of homes were submerged and families lost everything they owned. Mattresses and personal belongings were ruined.
To date, 340 homes, a community center, three schools, one kindergarten, a bakery and a plantain chip factory were restored in the community built by FFTP and its longtime partner CEPUDO.
The electrical system for the water well that serves the community had to be replaced. The distribution line also was repaired and is now providing clean water for residents.
For farmers like Freydell in Nicaragua, the recovery has been complicated by a persistent drought. Normally, beans would be visible by now and ready to harvest.
“It’s been a complex situation because it is not raining that much,” Freydell said. “Thank God, with irrigation water and foliar fertilizer, the bean plants look good. I calculate it has only rained five times when it should be raining almost every day.”
FFTP President Ed Raine said families in Central America were already hurting before the hurricanes because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which had depleted resources and left many people unemployed.
“Water went over the rooftops. You can imagine the mud that was in people’s homes and the sorrow that came when an entire season of crops was washed away,” Raine said.
“The cleaning process was intensive, but the efforts made possible by our donors have paid off and families are back in their homes,” Raine added. “We continue to provide farmers with the tools and training necessary, so they can support their families and their communities.”
Hurricane Eta made landfall on November 3, 2020, as a powerful Category 4 hurricane on Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast, causing devastating floods and landslides in both Nicaragua and Honduras and wiping out crops. Less than two weeks later, Hurricane Iota took the same path.
Some had nothing to return to after the storms. But thanks to the charity’s generous donors, 17 families who had been living in shelters and tents each received the gift of a new home in the Fenix community in Macuelizo.
In the Juan Orlando Hernández community, the charity is providing 700 double beds and 1,400 single beds, including frames and mattresses, to replace the furnishings lost by homeowners.
The frames were manufactured by and purchased from the community’s welding shop that makes furniture for all the charity’s homes in Honduras. The mattresses also were purchased in Honduras.
In addition to the homes in Juan Orlando Hernández, 87 homes were cleaned in the municipalities of Pimienta and La Lima, leaving 64 homes remaining to be restored.
Before the hurricanes, the charity worked with in-country partner American Nicaraguan Foundation (ANF) to help bean farmers in Nicaragua increase their yields and income, and guarantee the purchase of their products at a higher price.
Through FFTP’s From Seeds to Smiles project, each farmer donated a 100-pound sack of beans back to ANF, which in turn distributed them through the organization’s feeding programs.
After the hurricanes, the charity invested in seeds and agricultural inputs for more than 700 farmers to provide them food and to start generating income during the next growing cycle.
In Honduras, FFTP donors are helping farmers replant crops through several projects that will increase food supply to the areas that were hardest hit.
More than 200 farmers in co-ops who grow avocadoes, beans, plantains and coffee have received seeds, fertilizers and herbicides to help them get their crops back on track just in time for growing season.
Wilmer, a bean farmer, said with the help of FFTP’s donors he was able to bring his bean crop to a “very beautiful level” before the hurricanes wiped everything away.
“We lost the entire plantation, and we could not harvest almost anything,” he said. “We hope in God that we can receive help to be able to continue working and in this way take our families forward. We are very grateful to the donors for continuing with their support that we need so badly.”
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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