Lopez Mateos, BCS
Hurricane Jimena Crisis Report Site

How to Help
(You can make a difference!)
Page updated: 2009-10-04 20:20 MDT

The emergency is over. Basic services have been restored, folks aren't dying because of storm-inflicted wounds, the main roads are transitable and the government-- which focused admirable amounts of emergency crews and military personal during the immediate aftermath-- has returned to its routine business.

But the disaster continues. With the initial shock worn off, a large percentage of the community is now facing coming winter without a roof over their heads, the local employment scene disrupted (the Cannery, a principal employer, was rendered nonfunctional by the storm and will require time to restore) and without the financial means to acquire the basic building materials they require to get a dwelling erected. The government is not an available recourse for this situation and any outside assistance will have to be from the private sector.

In light of this situation, our proposal is to encourage and channel outside donations directly into building materials which will be allocated to needy families so they can rebuild a basic dwelling in which to get on with their lives.

The structures being proposed-- stark by U.S. standards but common in this community, functional and adequate to shelter a small family-- are something like a 5 meter square one-room dwelling, frame construction with a concrete slab floor; bathroom and kitchen setup depend on each case (the scope is to "help those who help themselves," rebuilding on previously existing foundations for those who suffered storm destruction of their hard-earned homes, i.e. rebuild help, not "new build" help).

Approximate materials cost, US$1500-$2000, can be built in a few days by the family with a little help from their friends, and will serve as a storm-resistant core which they can continue to expand as they get back on their feet. Examples of reconstruction.

Alicia and Patrick have already coordinated the first rebuild financed by interested private parties; there are around 80 families whose houses were destroyed, and our hope is to get them back into a dwelling before winter. With your financial help, we can do this!

Tax-deductible donations can be made through the Flying Samaritans-- a long-established 501(c) non-profit organization-- earmarked for the Lopez Mateos reconstruction project. The Flying Sams have been working with the López Mateos Medical Clinic for years and their previously-established, reliable, low-overhead channels will be used to transfer donations to an account in Ciudad Constitución-- the regional economic hub an hour east of López Mateos-- where they are converted to building materials and distributed to the families in need.

If you'd like to make an immediate donation electronically and aren't concerned about nonprofit tax deductions, we've established a PayPal account that will funnel directly to the Ciudad Constitución bank and ready to convert to materials. PayPal takes their cut of this (4%?), but it is convenient and direct.

The collaborators in this chain have a long-time proven record of participation in humanitarian support efforts and their integrity is beyond repute, but for transparency we will be documenting the project on this site with construction photos, financial reports and material receipts as things progress.

For those contributors who want more direct involvement, on the "reconstruction page there's a running list of proposed recipients including a basic description of their situation; if you'd like to choose a project to "adopt", gather together enough funds for a complete project and those materials will be channeled directly to your chosen family, with the process documented for you to follow as it goes. If you need more details (i.e. estimated cost of your selected project), please drop us an email.

How to participate: