Isolated by Misfortune, Water, and the Government
The community of El Coco, in Tecoluca, San Vicente, yesterday received help in the
form of food supplies for the first time, fifteen days after it was made into an island by
the flooding. Three "kayaks" came to share their resignation.
- Javier Ramón (translated
from Spanish for PAB by Dennis Beach, OSB)
- El Diario de Hoy
Yesterday, the few inhabitants of
the community of El Coco received, for the first time, a shipment of food. The
Women's Movement Medila Anaya Monte, n NGO that works in the zone, was the only
organization that remembered them.
For two weeks now, El Salvador has hasd one more island and several tenths hectares
less land.The community of El Coco, int eh jurisdiction of Tecoluca, in the department of
San Vicente, is surrounded by water on all four sides.
Seventeen packages of food traveled in "kayaks" in order to reach the first
inhabitants of El Coco. Several pounds of rice, beans, oil and health supplies came to
break, for a few moments, the monotony of tortillas and of the fish called
The rainy season strikes hard at people who make a living by fishing and go about
barefoot. Fungi and irritations of the skin appear and there is no remedy they can
apply to stop them.
Enisled, steering simple canoes, the inhabitants come and go van y vienen along what
was once a roadway. Hundreds and hundred for flooded acres int his community make the life
of its inhabitants a small odyssey they are sadly learnignto live with.
The continual discharges of the Central Hydroelectric Dam "September 15th" as
well as the persistent rains fallnig for the past week have blurred the 4 or 5 meters
width that the Coco River had, as they knew it until now, to transform it into a small sea
surrounded by tree branches.
Santa Cruz de Porrillo
The Santa Cruz de Porrios Student Center is one of the three schools of San Vicente
outfitted as a temporary lodging for the evacuees.
Hacienda Vieja, Pichiche, San José la Montaña and the same community of El Coco all
have a part of their populations within the walls of these schools. There are, all
together, 126 persons who have been relocated and 734 students who for this reason see
their classes suspended.
One of the representatives for those in the shelter is Father Rigoberto Nieto, who was
critical of the institutional response and COEN (Committee for National Emergencies)
because, according to him, they do not know the people's real situtation.
"The government has given nothing for the common good," he averred, "
only for the family level. It does not have a a wider vision that could perceive the
refugees as a whole, as a group."
Nevertheles, the work of the health units has been efficient. since Tuesday
morning, when the temporary lodging was established, the known diseases have been under
In the meantime, children and adults rise every morning with the illusion that this day
is the last one they will spend away from their home.