Between destruction and oblivion

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COYUCA DE BENÍTEZ, Gro.— Four days have passed since the hurricane passed Otis along the Costa Grande of Guerrero, four days in which some communities have not received help from the three levels of government, yet life continues among the destruction, the mud and the pain of having lost their heritage.

Image Group took a tour of the community of Ejido Viejo in the municipality of Coyuca de Benítez, a community of 50 families who continue with their lives, a life disrupted by hurricane winds of more than 250 kilometers per hour, heavy rains that ended up overflowing the river that destroyed dozens of homes, hurricane-force winds that sent sheets, cars and water tanks filled with water flying onto the fragile roofs.

To enter this community, you must first pass a pond 80 centimeters high, which makes access almost impossible. You continue with a five-kilometer journey, avoiding poles with electrical wiring, trees and palm trees that gave way to the strong gusts of wind. images before the destruction.

A destruction of houses that have nothing to do with the community church that remained intact, even the Virgin Mary was moved from her niche by the waters of the river that reached 1.60 meters high to deposit her, intact, delicately at the entrance from his house.

An image that for Catholic believers is a sign of respect for natural elements; an image of the Virgin Mary that protects her children who did not lose their lives despite the destruction

Here everyone improvises, everyone overcomes misfortune with a smile and an attitude of innate positivism; while some women use the hood of a car in the river to support their laundry, while, in the houses, families take turns removing mud, clothes, appliances or family souvenirs.

Some smile to forget the tragedy that they lost everything, they practically lost a heritage forged for years; Today they only ask for help for their children, some of them months old who do not have specialized foods for their age.

Such is the case of Anahí Alonso Menchaca who, with her months-old daughter with Down syndrome, begs for food for her little girl, with whom she is currently sleeping with her neighbors, who have a slab house that serves as shelter, her The house was left without a roof, she was left without clothes, without junk, without a bed, without money and with great sadness when she saw her little girl hungry.

We need everyone's help, we lost everything, he left us nothing. I need clothes for my daughter because she has Down Syndrome, we are miraculously alive, let them come to support us because they are already late, we don't see anything, many of us from San Judas, the children are getting sick, we need medicine.”

Something similar is experienced by Professor Janny Merced Villanueva Navarrete, who has the entry of Hurricane Otis deeply etched in her mind; she does not forget the details, much less that orange light during the passage of the hurricane.

This hurricane totally impacted our town and our surroundings, it was exactly 12 at night when the winds started, at one o'clock the water from the stream that we have near the town came in and it was devastating."

Without wasting time, older women and men hugged the children, sheltered them to give them the warmth of protection, their screams of despair were muffled by the hurricane-force winds; without measuring the consequences and in the face of the rising river that overflowed and in seconds flooded the community; They took them, put them on their shoulders and carried them to the houses that have a second floor, under the risk of being swept away by the currents of water that destroyed everything in their path.

Today the community of Ejido Viejo in the municipality of Coyuca de Benítez needs sheets, canned food, baby food, water, clothing, shoes; It needs everyone's solidarity so that it can recover from this natural disaster that once again tests the solidarity of Mexicans, which characterizes us.

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