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Friday, April 23, 2010

Los Cruces Need $600 to buy black tarp before the next rain or 17 houses might fall over.

The Community of Los Cruces, 17 families living on a hillside in Santiago Texacuangos, have always been vulnerable. When 2 houses fell over on families in November 2009, causing the death of 4 people, the community decided it had had enough of being vulnerable. Don Eduardo, a local community leader, requested aid from the local government office multiple times, with no response. He asked Friends of Santiago Texacuangos, back in November 2009 for food and water. In December, he asked Mercedes Monge to come and help organize the community. On March 6th, thanks to free labor from Dayton University via a CRISPAZ delegation, we made progress reducing risk for a few houses in the community. However, no amount of labor or community organizing has been able to change the fact that the exposed tierra blanca (seen in photos above) is a disaster waiting to happen. When Ida destory the little vegetation cover yet, 17 families remained completely vulnerable to a landslide with a any little tremor or the next big rain. El Salvador has lots of earthquakes, and the rainy season has begun. It is really only a matter of time before these houses fall over.
Don Eduardo and Los Cruces have tried to work with the local and national government to find other land to live on, since the families live in abject poverty (no one has land to farm, and the only source of income is $ that men bring form nearby sweatshops) and cannot afford to buy a new plot of land to re locate their sheet-metal homes.

Clearly, no one should live in Los Cruces. or in sheet metal housing on an eroded hillside. but 17 families do.
These families need lots of things, but of DIRE URGENCY they need 2 large rolls of black tarp to cover exposed earth to keep it from continual erosion until we can relocate families or find major reconstruction equipment. We need $600 to buy this, or an NGO that will donate it. Please email me immediately if you have connections to NGOs in El Salvador (ive already tried ProComes, Fundesryam, alcaldia of santiago, and USAID) or access to $600.

email me at


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