Several days of constant downpour in Central Mexico in early 2010 created massive flooding, landslides and much human suffering, including loss of life. Many of the communities that serve as gateways to the Monarch sanctuaries were heavily damaged. The Mexican government’s organization of the cleanup was impressive and swift, but recovery will be long and painful. Since Forests for Monarchs has worked with the people in these communities, and consider them important partners in our project, we felt compelled to assist however we could. Immediately after the disaster, we provided blankets and bottled water to the survivors.
October Hill Foundation has supported Forests for Monarchs almost since its inception, and wanted to help. Their initial special grant, specifically aimed at relieving the suffering caused by this disaster, provided seed money for our Disaster Relief Fund. The fund has grown by additional contributions from PrimaKlima, and a number of individuals. After interviewing community leaders and citizens in several of the affected communities, one family in El Rosario, where our project began in 1997, was chosen to benefit from the fund.
This young family living at the gateway to the El Rosario Monarch Sanctuary, lost their home and all their belongings when a wall of mud filled with boulders and entire trees descended on their home while the mother, father and three young children were inside. Neighbors quickly dug them from the mud, trees and ruins of their home. The young woman, who suffered a broken back, spent months in the hospital and now struggles to recover. The oldest son had several broken bones. The entire family now lives with relatives as they await word that government engineers deem their home site safe and give them permission to rebuild on their land.
LCHPP Disaster Relief Fund supplemented government grants the family received, assuring their new home is comfortable and adequate for the family to rebuild their lives. The Mexican government paid for the construction of a one room cement block house with a laminate roof.
Our disaster relief funds allowed them to add two more cement block rooms, with a porch and cement roof. The home is complete and the family is grateful for the assistance of those who helped them restore their lives.
This disaster demonstrated one of the devastating effects of deforestation, underscoring the urgent need to restore forest to local mountainsides.