During the first week of August 2015 the Rio Trinco, on the north shore of Lago Izabal, burst its banks after heavy rainfall on already sodden ground. The situation was exacerbated by the replacement of older well rooted trees by shallow rooted mono-culture plants. With little to hold it in place swathes of mud and soil was carried along with the waters that inundated the villages of Sumach, Caimenes and others.
Three children lost their lives and many lost their homes. At best the families were faced with an overwhelming clean up task with little in the way of help.
The logistics and politics of distributing aid was a new endeavor for me and I was extremely grateful for and learned much from Rita Rabre, our ex-fire chief here in the Rio Duce.
The photos below are glimpse of how the community of the Rio Dulce came together to help those hardest hit.