Central America: Aid reaches flood survivors

Flooding and landslides force tens of thousands to flee their homes for temporary shelters. World Vision is responding.

Story and photo by Katia Maldonado, World Vision El Salvador.
Published November 10, 2011 at 12:00am PST

Angela Garcia clutches her youngest child and weeps as she recalls fleeing her home as floodwaters swept through San Julian municipality in western El Salvador.

“My husband and I took shifts to [shine] light on the river and see how it was rising,” she says. “When we were knee-deep in water, I decided to leave. If the house is swept away by the river, it doesn’t matter. All I wanted was to have my children alive.”

Flooding causes thousands to flee

Angela’s home was indeed swept away by the floods. Her family managed to find shelter at a nearby church along with several other affected families, including about 30 children.

Torrential rains pounded Central America last month, causing extensive flooding and landslides that forced tens of thousands to flee their homes for temporary shelters. CNN reported that more than 90 people were killed.

The unusual rainfall was generated by a tropical disturbance about 100 miles south of Mexico. The disturbance moved northward and deteriorated into a tropical depression — a well-defined area of strong winds and rain.

World Vision responds

World Vision delivered food, mattresses, personal hygiene items, and baby kits to the displaced. In addition to El Salvador, World Vision is conducting relief operations in Honduras and Guatemala. 

Alongside delivery of emergency relief supplies, the organization has established several Child-Friendly Spaces — safe places where affected children can enjoy a range of activities to help them recover from the emotional upheaval.

World Vision plans further work to rehabilitate agriculture, water supplies, and sanitation. It will also initiate programs to improve hygiene and prevent the transmission of disease.

How you can help

Pray for families who are displaced due to the flooding. Pray that they recieve the assistance they need.

Make a one-time gift to our Disaster Response Fund to help us respond quickly and effectively with life-saving assistance in the wake of disasters like the recent flooding in Central America.