Update on Oaxaca Villages Following Tropical Storm Nate

Written by Plant With Purpose on September 12, 2011 in General

By Kate Nare

Last week’s Tropical Storm Nate was one of the first major storms of the season to bring heavy rains to the areas where we work in Oaxaca. Milmer Martinez, our Mexico and Haiti Program Officer, is there now with our local staff, so I asked him how things are looking and he said:

“The ground in our communities is clearly saturated with the water this rainy season. Multiple mudslides have affected the road to our communities and river levels are at record highs, which impedes movement. On my way to the community of Monteflor, I counted over 15 mudslides on the road that had been cleared already. Just before El Manzanal, the main road was partially gone down a ravine.

On our way to the community of Rio Garza, we had to leave the car and continue by foot as the river had covered the road and made it impossible to pass. We parked the car and took an improvised footpath only to find a major mudslide that had happened a couple of nights prior. Luckily, it happened at night and no one was injured. This is the only entrance and exit to the communities. One of the current income generation activities has been the tomato production from the greenhouse, and the flooding has affected tomato transport and distribution as the path is barely wide enough for a person and a small donkey. The community had already started cutting the trees that were blocking the road. The river, which had actually deviated from the mud load, is still too high to bring machinery to clear the road.”

Tropical Storm Nate also brought extreme rain and floods to Oaxaca City. Our office there flooded, but is now doing better.

Thankfully, no fatalities were reported in our communities. One positive outcome of the heavy rain is that the cisterns are nearly full of water in our communities.

Please keep the communities we work with in your prayers as they work to clear the wiped-out roads.

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