After Tropical Storm Nate 75% of the country suffered damages, including Monteverde and surrounding communities.
Re-building a Community after the Storm
What had been the main road into Monteverde suffered severe damages. The whole area was cut off for nearly a week. However community members got together to evacuate those in need, and to send food and medicine. This photo is from the wiped out bridge in Cerro Plano.
A community is always under-construction but now we have to re-construct. It has not been a news item in the U.S. but Costa Rica and Central America just had a very serious national weather emergency. This has been an experience in learning what it means to be a supportive community that assures the safety of each member including our hundreds of visitors. There was a lot of devastation; however, everyone is safe.
Last week the community of Monteverde and the whole country was shaken with a Tropical Storm called Nate. It took us by surprise, as we did not think it was going to hit us the way it did. We were given only a few hours notice to get supplies and seek refuge but no one realized how powerful the storm would be. It was, in fact, devastating. In September we had nearly 30 inches of rain but this storm delivered over 20 inches more in two days (4-5th of October)!
The communities of Monteverde, Santa Elena and San Luis were cut off from the world for several days as roads collapsed, bridges washed away, electricity and water systems, phone and internet failed. Even the ground failed as the roads filled up with mudslides, trees and boulders. Water was rushing everywhere and rivers spilled out of their banks, carrying many houses downstream.
But it has been a lesson in the true meaning of community as neighbors; friends and strangers have come together to save what could be saved and to give assistance where it was needed.
In Monteverde during those two days people sought refuge as they were advised. The Costa Rican aid groups rushed to evacuate and help. The mobilization of people so far had been impressive. As noted above, the community has become closer. People from the inside, from the outside, from all sides are doing their best to collaborate, to do something, whatever--From carrying water to people who do not have any, to organizing activities to keep the community informed, gathering food for those that don’t have any, using wheelbarrows and shovels to open roads that have disappeared in mud.
Although the water did damage, it united the people. The community as such is stronger than ever, going beyond physical boundaries bringing relief and assistance to those in need. We deeply thank all those who have supported us, and those who have had us in their thoughts.
Little by little things are returning, not exactly to their normality, since the impact was so great, but at least so that people can return to some sense of daily life. Most of our roads and tourist facilites are open.
But with so much devastation the Monteverde zone needs help. The Monteverde Institute is working with local authorities as in the past and serving as a way to get funds to the community. The Monteverde Institute has offered to receive contributions towards the reconstruction of Monteverde and nearby communities.
Please consider making a tax deductible contribution to the U.S. based Alliance for the Monteverde Institute. They will send the funds directly to the Monteverde Institute for use in rebuilding the community. These funds will be used in coordination with the local Emergency Committee to fix damaged water systems and re-open safe road accesses.
Yes, it’s going to take years to re-build some of the things, like infrastructure, but we've begun, and with your help we can get it done more quickly.
Come visit us and see the reconstruction. The tourist sector is working and your visit is important because tourism is the community's greatest source of income.
Note: Every one of the MVI staff is safe, so is the building.
US tax-deductible contribution can be sent to:
The Alliance for the Monteverde Institute.
By check please send to:
Treasurer of the Alliance for the Monteverde Institute 34 Cherry Lane
Amherst, MA 01002
United States of America
Please follow the steps found on this page (hand write re-building of Monteverde).