Honduras is a disaster zone after having been affected by Hurricane Mitch for the past five days. The Casa Alianza Crisis Center in the country's capital of Tegucigalpa has been evacuated as more than three adjacent factories and two neigboring rows of houses have tumbled into the river. The river bank, which used to be some 50 meters away from the Casa Alianza property, is now barely 15 meters away and getting closer.
The street in front of our building has collapsed and there is an imminent danger of more land falling into the river, which is about 20 meters deeper than normal.
The street children we serve are now huddled in a section of the Universidad Pedagogica and we are feeding them as best we can. There is no electricity in most of the city; the water system is contaminated and phones have been cut for the most part. Food supplies are short and the cost of bottled water, blankets and other food supplies have eaten away our budget. We are having tremendous difficulty washing clothes. At least though in the Crisis center, no children have been hurt.
At first light tomorrow, Monday, beefed up Street Educator teams will be out in force trying to find many street children who have disappeared. We fear that many may have been washed away by torrential non-stop rains that have been lashing for more than five days. Bodies will probably be found way down stream when the waters eventually subside.
In the meantime, we are handing out blankets, food and other sources of warmth for the children who are on the street.
We have also evacuated one of our five group homes, Hogar San Pedro, in the Colonia Miramesi area of Tegucigalpa when the house next door collapsed under the torrents of water covering the streets.
The factories which normally donate our bread, fresh meats and other goods are closed or damaged and cannot help us. Food supplies are diminishing as most of the roads in the country and washed away or cut off from fallen bridges.
Another Casa Alianza group home, Hogar Santa Teresa, is innacessible at the present time. The administrative staff moved all our computers and equipment from the offices as water streamed in. The Crisis center playground is actually under 5 feet of water. The accountants and secretaries are working around the clock in the make shift center, making soup and sandwiches whilst supplies last.
At least six members of the Casa Alianza staff in Tegucigalpa have lost their humble houses and all their possessions, all washed away. We have not been able to contact all our staff and many have not been able to get into the center of the city. Other staff homes may have been lost.
The place is a mess. I must ask you to help in whatever way you can. Please pray for the safety of the street children, and for the rains to stop and the rivers to rescind. If you can help us with emergency funding, we are getting desperate. And we may loose our Crisis Center, which has now been declared a high risk zone....
If you can make an immediate bank to bank transfer, we are collecting the funds in Costa Rica as the Honduran banks are closed and their is no communication. We will hand carry cash to Honduras. The bank information is:
Bank Name: Banco Credito Agricola de Cartago
Bank Branch: Sucursal San Jose, Costa Rica, Central America
Account Name: Casa Alianza Internacional
Account No.: 1509890065
If you are sending support by mail, please send an e-mail message stating how much you are giving so that we can plan for it, and please mail as soon as possible to:
PO Box 025216
Miami FL 33102-5216 USA
Casa Alianza, a BOES.ORG Partner, received the prestigious Olof Palme Award 1997
The post is forwarded by courier, which is faster and safer than Central American mail. If you have any questions or suggestions, please send me a message immediately.
Please help as best you can. The situation is desperate. And please pray for the rain to stop.... Thank you as ever for your help.
Bruce harris, Executive Director, Latin American programs
Casa Alianza/Covenant House Latin America