Guatemala and Honduras: The Disaster Continues Post-Hurricane

Hurricane Iota swept over Central America from 16 November, 2020, causing fatalities and widespread damage. Iota came just 2 weeks after the destructive Hurricane Eta, which affected 4 million people in the region. More than 2 months after the storms dumped tons of rain on the countryside, small villages are still digging themselves out.

Published 2 years ago

First Covid-19, and then back-to-back hurricanes tore through Guatemala and Honduras at the end of last year, two areas of the Central Caribbean with limited media attention and no outside knowledge of the scope of the on-going disaster. More than 2 months after the storms dumped tons of rain on the countryside, small villages are still digging themselves out.

Seven Seas Cruising Association members locked down in these countries have been working hard to help the local communities and have discovered two key areas where the needs are extreme. The SSCA have created two new “Clean Wake Projects” to help get the word out and assist the two cruiser groups with their efforts as well as obtaining support via the SSCA Foundation.

Clean Wake: Friends of Rio Dulce Guatemala

Cruisers and concerned local citizens have formed a group of visitors, sailors, SSCA members, family and friends to provide help to the local community. Called Friends of Rio Dulce, they also join forces with other agencies and coordinate with them where help is needed.

SSCA Cruising Station Hosts Tutty and Muriel Lee, located in Rio Dulce, are providing major assistance and coordinating volunteers and projects, working with Steve Elliot/Hotel Catamaran. I

Some of the projects concern education assistance for communities without formal schools, and providing needed supplies of food and materials for hurricane recovery such as shovels and wheel barrows, cleaning products and materials.

Tutty and Muriel report:

“A great day, the Mayor of Morales met with the people in the village of Sebol – one of the hardest hit areas from the flood. They are holding some of the 100 shovels our group delivered last week. We are going back on Friday with 50 more! It is important that we get their houses cleaned out, so they can get back into their homes. The mud that filled them contained dirt, bugs, and bacteria, we need to help them move back in, knowing they will be safe.”

Friends of Rio Dulce Guatemala Facebook Page 

Clean Wake: The Bay Islands Project, Honduras

In The Bay Islands, even before Covid-19, communities faced education and health shortfalls; just the basic needs of food and shelter were in need. Now, between business downturn and hurricane damage, the need is extreme. The Bay Islands are seriously affected since the islands depend almost 100% on tourism. Unemployment is extremely high due to so many more people being out of work since March 2020. Then came the hurricanes. Local assets such as fishing boats/engines and homes were flooded and recovery will take hard work.

Locked down in the area, Cruising Station Hosts Bill and Joanne Harris of SV Ultra, have been coordinating efforts with donations used to purchase food, prescription medications, Covid-19 tests, medical supplies, monthly bills, personal care items, baby items and much more for families in need. They have also been collecting new and used items to distribute to families.

Bill and Joanne report:  “When all of the Bay Islands went into Lockdown and no one was allowed in or out we immediately began fundraising to help families in need that had just become unemployed. When the hurricanes hit the mainland of Honduras on the North Coast, The Bay Islands were spared, however, the pandemic still continues and so many are struggling to feed their families. With the generous donations of others, we were able to shop for and distribute Christmas bags for 65 families in need. Furthermore, we have continued to support a family of 30 that only has one employed member of the household since the pandemic began. We wish to control the funds raised as well as distribute the goods directly to the families in need as not to involve a 3rd party. That way we can be sure that the goods go in the hands of the families in need. ”

Bill and Joanne are leading volunteering and fundraising for humanitarian efforts around the globe, supporting communities with school/housing repairs, school materials, schooling assistance, hygiene and more.

When the area opens up to tourism, it will be the cruisers who will be the first in to help Bill and Joanne with their projects.


Contact SSCA hosts at [email protected] for additional information.

SSCA Clean Wake Projects

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