9th April 2017 – Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion
Meet the People of Honduras
Barra del Cuyamel, Omoa
Miriam Marivel Campos Perez, a thirty year old mother, and her six year old daughter Maria live in Cuyamel, not far from the city of San Pedro Sula in the north of Honduras. Their village is built around a life of fishing and farming. The small village is often victim to flooding. Cuyamel used to be one hundred meters away from the sea; however, as a result of a massive earthquake in 2009, the seabed has sunken by 60 cm, and this, combined with rising sea levels caused by climate change, means the village is now prone to devastating flooding.
‘I have maybe a few months left in my home,’ says Miriam. ‘We are hardly living there these days because every time there is bad weather we have to evacuate.’ When the floods come the alert is sounded and the villagers have little time to get ready as the water comes very fast. In school, six year old Maria learns the traffic light system. Green means everything is okay. Orange means the weather is starting to turn and they must start to get ready for the floods. Red means they must run fast as the water is coming. Mother and daughter grab hold of each other and run. Maria says that she shouts ‘let’s go, let’s go’ to her mother because she is so afraid. They must run fast as the water brings with it timber and other debris; if you are hit you could get badly hurt.
On returning home, flooding is another trauma. ‘it’s really sad when I come back and and see how my house looks. I want to run away and never return. The sea brings sand and is full of garbage that gets washed here.’ The family spends days cleaning their home, which is now damp and mouldy. Miriam says that her daughter has nowhere to play as the land is filled with debris and rubbish. It also gets covered in salt, so people don’t grow food.
Trócaire, through local partners, is supporting Miriam, Maria and their community by supporting the emergency response teams. We are creating safe routes for people to move quickly away when the flood is coming. Together we are providing food, shelter and training for local people.
What can you do?
The burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas is a major cause of climate change, which is exacerbating hunger and poverty in the developing world. Currently the Irish Government is investing your money in some of the most polluting fossil fuel companies in the world. Join Trócaire’s Burning Question Campaign and tell the Irish Government to stop investing in the very industry which is fuelling climate change! https://www.trocaire.org/getinvolved/climate-justice