Esmeraldas communities still need our help
By Garry Vatcher
A cardboard sign hangs in the community, “Our houses are gone, we need help.” No one comes to read their sign or to help. Indigenous and black communities have been neglected for a long time, resulting in almost 70% poverty in these Esmeraldas communities. These marginalized communities are almost never a priority for government. After the floods, they have few resources to help them recover.
Hogar de Esperanza’s team arrived in the indigenous community of Taquima where they found complete devastation. Entire houses, businesses, farm animals were lost. Most people use motorcycles for transportation and many were lost as well, leaving them without any means for transport. Families are forced to sleep in the open, exposed to weather, insects and infections. Thirty children have to sleep outside. They have erected temporary shelters from the wood and materials from the destroyed homes.
The community was cooking green plantain and rice as that is all they had. They were so grateful for the donations of food we brought them. Like many of the communities we encountered in the region, they have received little to no assistance.
Our team came across a young man picking oranges. He has downs syndrome so we asked to meet his family. He took us to where his house once stood to meet his father, who suffers from thrombosis and has difficulty walking. Luis was trying to pick up what rubble he could.
A neighbor kindly let his mother sleep on a couch. During the flood, she suffered a stroke and is now unable to walk or move as she is completely paralyzed on one side of her body. They had hoped to send Carlos to a special school in the city, but now their hopes are dashed.
Hogar de Esperanza have seen many desperate situations in the communities we visited. The reality is that nothing we can do will change their lives forever. We can let them know that we care about them by offering support. The love we give them today can give them hope and encouragement.
Please support the Esmeraldas communities by donating here: https://foundationhogardeesperanza-bloom.kindful.com/?campaign=1260476. For more donation options, you can find them here: https://hogaresperanza.org/en/donations/ You can also drop off your donation at Esperanza Thrift Shop at Juan Montalvo 8-18 and Mariscal Sucre.
We will be bringing hygiene kits very soon. For each $20 we receive we will personally deliver a kit to a child and provide food for the family. You will also receive a personal thank you from each child. Our goal is to deliver 500 kits and we know that with your help we can do it! We are currently at 100 and have 400 more to go.