Thursday 25 May 2017

'Waves destroyed our home of 42 years ... we had to run'

Fisherman Santos Francisco Diaz Romero from Cuyamel near San Pedro Sula, Honduras where Trócaire are working with their local partners CASM Omoa to help residents of a coastal community who are losing their home to rising sea levels
Fisherman Santos Francisco Diaz Romero from Cuyamel near San Pedro Sula, Honduras where Trócaire are working with their local partners CASM Omoa to help residents of a coastal community who are losing their home to rising sea levels
Biologist Gustavo Cabrera shows how much sea levels have risen
Candido Zaldivar Flores pictured with his wife Elvia Murcia de Zaldivar in the hut on the local church grounds where they now live. Their home was destroyed by waves during a storm at Cuyamel near San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Photo: Frank Mc Grath
The beach at Cuyamel near San Pedro Sula, Honduras, where the rising sea levels are forcing people from their homes

FOR almost two months, Candido Zaldivar Flores (70) and his wife Elvia Murcia de Zaldivar (65) have lived in a makeshift hut with their two children, a granddaughter and great-granddaughter at the back of the Iglesia Evangelica y Reformada church in Sandbar Cuyamel.

This is because last January, their home was one of six which were destroyed by the sea following 32 hours of strong winds and constant rain.

Their house of 42 years was ruined, and the family forced to flee for their lives in the early hours of the morning after the sea knocked down the front wall. They were lucky to escape with their lives.

"It was a very sad night," Candido, a fisherman, said. "The weather was pretty bad and at 3am the sea knocked down the wall of the house, and we had to run. When we went back to the house, all of our belongings were covered in sand.

"We were wearing borrowed clothes. After a couple of days when the sea levels went down, we tried to recover our belongings. We recovered the timber and some of the clothes.

"Sometimes the sea would come, but nothing as strong as that night. We knew there was a storm coming but we never thought it would be so bad."

He said they are worried this is going to happen again because the level of the land has sunk and the sea is rising.

"The only option was to recover as much as possible to construct our shelter. Right now this is our home. We have nowhere else to go.

"Here there is no future. We lived in that house for 42 years. There were four houses in front of us, and they're all gone. United and working together the community will find a solution. We feel very confident. God is with us and giving us the strength to deal with this moment. We're hoping for something better afterwards."

Irish Independent

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