Little Victims of Disaster

Little Victims of Disaster

Families in Mexico Continue to Recover From Hurricane Stan

By: Bianca Corral in Mexico with Brandy Campbell   |   Posted: November 30, 2006

Viridiana helps her mother do dishes in the family's newly constructed kitchen.

When Hurricane Stan struck Mexico's southern coast on October 4, 2005, the devastation was quick and complete. But for children living in poverty, like Viridiana Flores, recovering from the disaster was not. Viridiana, who attends the Compassion-assisted My First Love Student Center, was forlorn after the disaster. Her family had no insurance, and government assistance was slow and often incomplete as understaffed offices tried to reach isolated villages. In Viridiana's critical moment of need, she and her family witnessed God's provision through Compassion.

Night Escape

Canton Libertad, a tiny tropical village in Mexico, was underwater in the days following Hurricane Stan. The Flores family's home a typical coastal dwelling was a rustic one-room wooden hut with a roof thatched with banana palm leaves and a dirt floor. Palm, mango and banana trees offered a bit of shade. The house was perfect for the extreme heat, but inadequate to protect the family from the hurricane's torrential rain and flooding.

With no television or radio, Viridiana and her family never received emergency reports detailing how severe incoming storms were. Left in the dark, the family just assumed Hurricane Stan was a passing thunderstorm. As the rain continued, Viridiana's parents hurried to their children, waking them and carrying the frightened little ones to higher ground.

A Mother's Rescue

Luz Angelina, Viridiana's mother, still remembers wading through waist-deep water with her three children as she joined the panicked crowds fleeing their homes.

"The water filled the house and grew up about two meters (six and a half feet), and everything was covered with water and mud," remembers Luz Angelina. When the rain finally stopped, the family returned to the site of their home, now a pile of toppled trees and mud. With the help of friends from the Compassion project, they desperately tried to salvage anything they could find.

It took them a day to clean the hut area, and when they finished, they discovered that their beds, appliances and furnishings items they had saved years to buy were unusable, caked with mud. As Luz Angelina and her children stood in the stinking mud and filth, they wondered how they would ever survive this disaster.

Building Begins

For several days Viridiana and her family huddled on wooden boards to stay off of the muddy ground. But thanks to Compassion sponsors and donors, many of whom gave to the Hurricane Stan Appeal Fund, the family now has a new mattress, as well as several kitchen appliances. Compassion is in the process of helping the family rebuild their home and provide a sense of safety and normalcy for Luz Angelina and her three children.

Although Viridiana and her family lost their home, they have not lost their faith. Through the assistance of Compassion and their church, they have seen the provision of God through the work of His people.

What did you like about this story?