-We have before us a panorama of death
Honduras, November 4th, '98  
From one of our Partners - Casa Alianza  

Children still at sever risk
from fall out of Hurricane Mitch.

The Honduran capital Tegucigalpa remains devastated in the wake of hurricane Mitch which has rocked the country killing 7,000 and left an estimated 12, 000 people missing in Honduras and neighbouring Nicaragua.

"We have before us a panorama of death, desolation and ruin throughout the national territory," commented Honduran President Carlos Flores Facusse yesterday. A state of emergency has been declared and a curfew imposed in order to try and prevent further looting and restore order to the capital which, according to some reports, looks like it has been hit by an atom bomb.

Amidst this chaos Casa Alianza continues to try and care for the children within our programmes, while street educators scour the streets looking for scores of children who we fear may have drowned.

Our crisis centre remains evacuated and the children we had there continue living in makeshift conditions, along with hundreds of other people made homeless, in the “Universidad Pedagogica”. However, due to the desperate nature of the situation we have been forced to use the crisis centre to house 20 street children, who aren’t part of Casa Alianza’s residential programmes. We have done this despite the fact that the Honduran authorities have classified the centre as being in a high risk zone and that waters from the Choluteca River, which remains 20 meters higher than normal, are just 15 meters away.

"We are praying that the waters won’t rise any higher and that the road, the one thing separating the kids from the river, doesn’t become flooded too," commented Bruce Harris Executive Director of Casa Alianza Latin America.

"People are watching the river’s levels 24 hours a day and we are ready to run with the kids if it becomes necessary," he continued.

The group home “San Pedro” remains evacuated and another of our group homes “Santa Teresa” is still inaccessible.

However, one of our greatest concerns continues to be for the street children who are not within Casa Alianza’s residential programmes. Casa Alianza is in contact with almost a thousand different street kids in Tegucigalpa each year and while we can account for all of the children within our programmes, it remains to be seen how many of these children will have been hurt or killed.

Casa Alianza’s educators continue to make daily street checks, while also visiting local morgues and hospitals.

Casa Alianza has begun working with other local groups in order to try and recover from this catastrophe; we have been able to provide coffins, usually reserved for street children, to three little girls who tragically became part of the country’s national death toll.

We are also hoping that some of our children will be able to help in the construction of dams.

The main problems which continue to plague the country are a lack of water, electricity and basic food stuffs. With 50,000 people left homeless the greatest fears now are related to health. Already dengue fever, conjunctivitis, diarrhoea and skin allergies from filthy water are being reported.

Thanks to your generous donations Casa Alianza Honduras has been able to buy an electricty generator which has permitted us to continue with basic work. However, the place remains in disarray, and we are asking for your help in whatever way possible. We ask you to continue praying for the safety of the street children. Also if you can, please help us with emergency funding. There is also the distinct possibility that we will have to build another group home to replace "San Pedro" following this natural disaster.

Its calculated that more than 1 million Hondurans have lost everything in a country of 6 million. 70 percent of the Honduran banana producing east coast are under water. Government officials estimate it will take $2 billion US for the Honduran economy to begin to recover. An estimated 50 per cent of the country's livestock have perished. Vice President Billy Handal said yesterday, "Hurricane Fifi was nothing compared to this. It took 12 to 14 years of effort to overcome Fifi. This one will take 30 or 40 years."

If you can make an immediate bank to bank transfer, we are collecting the funds in Costa Rica as the Honduran banks remain closed. We will hand carry cash to Honduras. The bank information is:

Casa Alianza, a BOES.ORG Partner, received the prestigious Olof Palme Award 1997
Bank Name: Banco Credito Agricola de Cartago (Tel +506 225- 6948)
Bank Branch: Sucursal San Jose, Costa Rica, Central America.
Account Name Casa Alianza International
Account no: 1509890065
Aba number 019199

If you would like to send clothes, medical supplies, tinned food, powdered milk etc. please contact us and we will put you in touch with your closest Casa Alianza or Covenant House who will be able to co-ordinate the sending of supplies.
For more information please write to <> or <>

In Guatemala, where to date 186 people have lost their lives and a state of emergency has been declared, our programmes have been able to continue although under very difficult circumstances. We are trying to dam all of our group homes as best as possible. Many of our staff members have been affected and suffered personal looses.

In the country as a whole 46 thousand people have been evacuated from their homes and 27 thousand are being put up in temporary shelters. 90 thousand people reported to be in a high risk situation.

Around 75 landslides are known to have obstructed different routes throughout the country and at least 21 bridges have been destroyed. The landslides have isolated the capital from the rest of the country and other principal cities in the north and east.

In Nicaragua our operations continue more or less as normal.

However, as in Guatemala, we are taking action to protect out crisis centre and ensure that the children we visit on the streets are not in immediate danger.

In Nicaragua the authorities say they may have to turn the Casita volcano area, where mudslides destroyed whole communities, into a “national cemetery.'' Rescue workers can't retrieve bodies buried

in the mud around the volcano, about 100 kilometres north of Managua, and are preparing to begin burning an estimated 2,000 corpses.

There is no water, no electricity and we are medical supplies are running out.

Mitch, whose speeds and winds have receded into a tropical storm, has passed to the north-west and is now located in southern Mexico. However, according to meteorological reports Mitch could be intensifying again. The whole of Central America continues to suffer intense torrential rains. Mitch is being described as the fourth most powerful Atlantic hurricane on record.

Casa Alianza
SJO 1039
PO Box 025216
Miami FL 33102-5216 USA
Casa Alianza, a BOES.ORG Partner, received the prestigious Olof Palme Award 1997

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