Recently parts of Costa Rica were hit hard with Tropical Storm Nate (which later became an official hurricane). This storm devastated many areas, and unfortunately the areas that were devastated were where the majority of the poor lived. People who didn’t have much to begin with were now literally left with nothing. Some have lost their houses completely as the walls simply washed away. Many of the houses were roof line in water. Once the water receded, what these families were left with was what seemed to be a daunting task. They had anywhere from 3 to 6 feet of mud. Mud that was so heavy and black it was hard to clean. Adding water to it made it harder and almost like a clay substance.
The day after the storm I saw all of the posts on FB about needing help and needing drivers. I own a truck and volunteered. I couldn’t have prepared myself for what was next. Looking into the eyes of a mother who almost lost her disabled child while holding her other 2 small children in her arms, left with absolutely nothing, not even clothes or diapers. Elderly who were found in the mud, now in hospital, and all but 3 of their 15 animals passed away and all over their property and in their house. I cried many times throughout each day. I had no idea that for the next 11 days, 12-15 hours per day, would these people be changing my life as well. The hearts of most of these people are incredible and one by one we helped.
We shoveled mud, we cleaned, we gave them food, clothes, water, kitchen supplies, cook tops, mattresses, hygienic supplies and so much more. We loved them and they loved us back. We were welcomed and greeted with big smiles and hugs.
11 days later each house in the fincas and areas that our teams personally worked with were all clean and everyone had everything they needed except something to cook on but that is being delivered in a few days. We will also be helping to build 2 houses that were completely lost.
The hearts of the people I came across, the people who donated day in and day out, who gave everything they could, who either bought things or went through their houses, the people who donated their time and shoveled mud and cleaned and the people who made hot meals so the affected people could have a hot meal, blew me away. There are simply no words to describe these people. They brought me to tears on several occasions because they genuinely cared and did not help for anything other reason than to just help. So incredible! I can never thank these people enough.
Through all of this I have been lost for words and it still continues. So to anyone who helped, in any small way, THANK YOU! If you have ever helped in any part of any storm or hurricane area, THANK YOU! It’s because of your hard work, determination, kindness and amazing hearts that anyone can recover and start to live somewhat of a normal life again.