Two weeks ago we started sharing about the tremendous need forming in El Salvador. The combination of COVID-19 and Tropical Storm Amanda were creating a desperate situation for many people. Food was scare, and storms were washing away entire communities. Many of you responded to the call and helped us raise over $4000 to provide much needed relief and assistance. With the help of many other organizations we have been able to distribute food, clothing, and other donated goods to several communities in need.
In coordination with the Union Church and Hope Chapel, we’ve been able to deliver food baskets to the Mascota Community.
States Diner helped us deliver a hot meal to folks in El Tanque who had lost their homes and were sheltering in a local church.
Now that the water has subsided, it’s easier to see the extent of the damage in many homes. As you can see, people tried to get their belongings as high off the ground as possible, but sometimes the water was just too high.
We’re continuing to provide food baskets to both the Mascota and El Tanque community, as well as assist the families of our children. Additionally, we’ll be working with the local leadership in each community the help with other recovery efforts like home repairs.
Thank you so much to each and everyone of you who gave over the last few weeks. Your support has made it possible for us to respond quickly to the needs of many families who are suffering under the twin tragedies of COVID-19 and Tropical Storm Amanda.
Last week we reached out with a request to help provide COVID-19 relief baskets to the Mascota Community. The response has been amazing. We have raised nearly $2000 – almost half of that in just the first 24 hours! Many of these baskets have already been delivered and are helping families survive during this difficult and unprecedented time. Thank you for rising to the call. Love and Hope is blessed with an eager and generous donor base.
Below are some pictures of the food you helped provide reaching those in need.
As the epicenter of the fight against COVID-19 now shifts to Latin America, El Salvador finds itself confronting yet another disaster. This past weekend, Tropical Storm Amanda barreled across Central America unleashing torrential rains, floods, and landslides. At least 14 people have died in El Salvador. The pictures and videos of the devastation are heart-breaking. After 77 days of lockdown, many are fleeing from their homes and communities as they are overrun by the water.
Images like this can be difficult to process in the abstract. The people and places are remote and distant. The scale of the damage seems unreal. It’s horrible, but our own lives remain unaffected as we often lack a personal connection to the people caught in these tragedies.
If you gave last week, you now know the Mascota Community. It lies the end of this flooded street.
50 people in the community lost their homes to landslides. In the neighboring community of Jesus de Nazereth, police deemed the homes of another 50 people unsafe due to the threat of landslides. Altogether around 100 people are now staying in the community house in Mascota and a few small church sanctuaries.
Those of you that have visited El Salvador, will recognize some of the following places. Below are images from the El Tanque Community where many teams have held VBS days and worked on community improvement projects. The kids at Love and Hope have spent many Christmas mornings here handing out gifts.
Many of you know the children at Love and Hope. Some of you have supported them for years. In addition to caring for these children, Love and Hope also cares for their families. We provide counseling, educational assistance, medical care, food baskets, and more. Over the last several months we’ve ramped up our material support to make sure all these families have enough to eat during this difficult time. Last week, we asked them to share some pictures of their homes and how they’ve been getting by.
Many of their homes lack proper drainage and will suffer greatly from the storm.
When tragedy piles on tragedy it can be difficult to know what to do. We often feel helpless and useless. But we can act.
The fight against COVID-19 has had real and painful economic consequences. People are hungry. We can feed them.
There rains are wiping out communities. People are homeless. We can help them rebuild.
During our last 16 years in El Salvador it is hard to think of a time when there was so much clear material need. The people of the Mascota community, the Jesus de Nazereth community, the El Tanque community, the families of our children, and many more are all in great need. El Salvador is in the fight of its life.
For this reason we are opening a Disaster Relief Fund. We’ll continue to work with the Union Church, the leadership of these communities, and other well-positioned ministries to serve the tremendous need being created by these two tragedies.
We expect food basket programs to continue for months as people get back on their feet. We know many will reach out for assistance with roof and home repairs. There will be requests for mattresses, blankets, shoes, clothing, and more. Again, in this hour of great need, we want the body of Christ to be there to answer the call.
To start, we’ll be sending $200 to El Tanque to buy food for people sheltering in the church and also be sending extra blankets and sweatshirts. Food baskets will continue at Mascota and Jesus de Narareth. As the leadership of these communities assess the damage we’ll continue to provide assistance.