As some may know, in the past month Oaxaca and other parts of Mexico have been devastated by floods and landslides caused by the heaviest rainfall in recorded history. The convergence of both Hurricane Karl and Tropical Depression Matthew have caused incredible damage to regions of some of the poorest regions in Mexico.
Early morning on Tuesday the 28th of September, the mountain village of Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec suffered a huge landslide that covered much of the mountainside in mud and rubble, killing 11 and leaving many more homeless.
The aftermath is perhaps more devastating. With thousands forced to leave their homes fearing further landslides and many subsistence crops washed away, Tlahui is still in the grips of a major humanitarian crisis. Some suggets that one of Tlahui's main obstacles to rebuilding will be the Government's ineffective response to the situation, which is likely to be slow in coming and unsustainable.
Some are stepping in to fill the void. Amongst them is Puente, an organisation in Oaxaca that promotes sustainable food sovereignty and health in the State. Karin and I have both worked with Puente in our time in Oaxaca and are lucky to know some of their staff. The following is lifted from an email sent out today from Puente:
"Four members of our team went to Tlahui last Friday and delivered goods to five of the six temporary shelters that have been set up around the town, housing over 2,000 people.
Amongst the goods that were delivered were; tarpaulins, water and food disinfecting drops, nappies, toilet paper, raincoats, shovels and pickaxes, and foodstuff including ground corn, canned foods, biscuits and powdered milk.
Safety permitting, the team plans to deliver water purification systems and more food in the coming days, the items that the are needed most urgently.
Indeed, apart from the landslide, the heavy rains have destroyed harvests and rivers have swept away acres of agricultural land, meaning that it is likely that the citizens of Tlahui and the surrounding areas will need support with food shortages for the coming months, at least. They are also concerned that a proper geological study needs to be conducted to determine whether it will be safe to return to their homes.
Puente will be coordinating with the local population and partner organizations in the area, to develop a strategy to address these issues as well as to harmonise the general recovery process in the coming months"Perhaps some of you may follow this blog because you've been to Oaxaca, or perhaps you have Mexican heritage or friends. And every time I post a recipe I'm encouraging you to go out and spend some amount of money on chilies, chocolate or corn husks to make yourself something wonderful to eat. This time I ask you to please consider donating a few of those dollars to help others to eat, and rebuild their lives after this tragedy.
To donate, click here. The link will take you to Puente's existent donations page, where you can safely give the quantity of your choice. Just specify in the comments field that the money is for the Tlahui Appeal. Thanks to everyone in advance.