A couple of days ago as we were scouting the town of Ciales looking to impact with one of our clean water proyects we were told about some families that had taken refuge in an abandoned school on top of a mountain near Toro Negro. People kept telling us that we should go and check on them. So we did.
We drove a while on a typical Ciales’ winding road and stopped by a long stairway going up the side of the hill onto a group of sad yellow buildings. On the stairwails stat a group of men looking down suspiciously on us. As we walked up the stairs some women came out of makeshift rooms (old classrooms) with several young girls to receive us. After chatting a bit we realized that they needed food, water and homes just like hundreds of thousands of fellow islanders.
These five families have lost everything. There were 16 people that had nowhere to go, no help, no idea. They had nothing except each other and the generosity of others who ocasionally passed by to help them. We had some water filters, solar lights and solar chargers that we left them for them.
Next day, our super-generous friend Chente who has been distributing food all over the island since the hurricane, went over to deliver supplies and groceries for them. He noted, like I had the day before, that although they were homeless and isolated they held a certain dignity, a certain pride, a certain strength that was admirable. That gave us strenght too, an example of adaptation against adversity.