Travel Theme: Broken Lives


“This planet is a broken bone that didn’t set right, a hundred pieces of crystal glued together. We’ve been shattered and reconstructed.” ~ Tahereh Mafi

Broken lives…125 families forced to reconstruct their lives from the devastating rock and mudslides on Ometepe Island, Nicaragua. Yesterday, Ron and I tramped over boulders and through mud to reach the Los Ramos community to deliver supplies to the families. Take a walk with us so you can see for yourselves Mother Nature’s powerful and destructive forces.

Supplies were delivered at the top of the hill. “So far, this doesn’t look too bad,” I said encouragingly to Ron.
IMG_4891

The bulldozers had cleared about 200 meters from the main road. Easy walking so far.

IMG_4894A few feet later, we came to the part of the road that had been dismembered like a severed limb, cutting the families off from the rest of the island and the supplies that they desperately needed.

IMG_4895Trees were uprooted leaving a mangled mess as the landslides roared down from the volcano.  Their road lay in a shattered and broken state.

IMG_4898The water lines the community had worked so hard to prepare, were snapped and crushed like ticks on a dog, dispersing their precious life source into the already saturated ground.

IMG_4901Trees and posts which carried the electricity into the village, snapped like delicate match sticks.

IMG_4903Fields, which once nurtured their plantain, bean, and rice crops, lay smashed and smothered under tons of rocks and mud.

IMG_4906Thunderous rumbles of boulders and mud carved canyons over five feet deep into the once passable road to Los Ramos.

IMG_4908The once thriving eco-tourism community of Los Ramos disintegrated rapidly.

IMG_4912The tattered sign welcoming tourists, is an alarming reminder that Mother Nature will always have her way. You can see the 5-6 landslides on Vulcan Concepcion that left a wake of destruction and broke the community’s main tourism industry.

IMG_4976Reconstruction is slow. Yet, these resilient people cleared the boulders away from their community church first, so they could give thanks for their blessings.

IMG_4916They are digging out over two feet of mud that invaded their homes.

IMG_4926The community of Los Ramos may be broken and mutilated, but the 125 families are strong and irrepressible. They step over the boulders in their path with amazing grace, fortitude, optimism, and faith.

IMG_4983How can you help? I started a donation page for this lovely community. Yesterday, we delivered over 1,000 pounds of food and other supplies. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s heartwarming post.

Their spirit is unbroken and the supplies from your donations will continue to nourish and strengthen Los Ramos for many months. Below is the link for how you can help. Thank you for all of your support.

Help Los Ramos Rebuild

Visit other travel themes of ‘broken’ here.

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7 thoughts on “Travel Theme: Broken Lives

  1. The pictures tell all…it must be such a helpless feeling to see your place that you have worked on for so long devastated in a few moments by nature’s force. Reading your other post about the food aid, it appears that people are in good spirits and probably helping each other out the best they can.

  2. If my figures are anywhere close to correct, your bags were less than $6/family. But, what an impact on a family to have some food and necessities! I am so glad you are there and doing what you are doing. I am looking forward to your next post. I tear up just thinking of your photos on facebook. Thank you so much for helping these gentle and loving people.

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