Amidst recovery, deeper impact of tropical storm Agatha remains

Jesus homework help w Elly

San Miguel Education Promoter Elly Estrada helps a student with an assignment.

The main streets in the village of San Miguel Escobar are cleared, community members have started work again, and school is back in session. Anyone passing through town would be surprised to learn that just six weeks ago the community was consumed by the overwhelming destruction created by tropical storm Agatha. Streets were covered in several feet of mud, rocks, and other debris, and all activity in the community was focused on trying to dig out as well as to provide food, water, and medical care to those whose homes had been destroyed.

Despite the significant cleanup efforts that have already occurred, inside the homes and within the local public school, many San Miguel residents are still suffering the aftermath of the storm. But inside the homes and within the local public school, many San Miguel residents are still suffering from the aftermath of the storm. Homes still need to be repaired and rebuilt, furniture needs to be replaced, communicable diseases still need to be treated and monitored. And, the emotional aftermath remains. “There are some children that are very affected, and there are some that haven’t come back [to school] yet,” says Elly Estrada, Common Hope’s Education Promoter for the San Miguel school.

The school teachers will no doubt play a significant role in accompanying the children through this ordeal, but many of the teachers themselves were affected by the storm. Common Hope psychologists began working as soon as possible with San Miguel teachers to provide emotional support so teachers could in turn offer support to their students.

To provide this, psychologists held a workshop on “Emotional Closure” for the San Miguel teachers. The objective was to encourage the teachers to communicate their emotions through artistic expression and trust-building exercises. “Many of the teachers live [in San Miguel] and they were affected,” says Common Hope psychologist Felipe Bagur, “we wanted to provide emotional attention for them.”

The psychologists also gave teachers ideas about how to guide students through the recovery process, using a manual created by Mercy Corps after Hurricane Stan. Elly reports that the teachers responded positively to the workshop and were grateful for Common Hope’s support. “At the end, there was a moment of relief and tranquility,” says Elly. “Thanks to the workshop, now teachers have ideas about how to handle the situations they will face with students back in the classrooms.”

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2 Responses to Amidst recovery, deeper impact of tropical storm Agatha remains

  1. Marcia Kochel July 25, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

    Thanks for this update. I am pretty sure that my godchild lives in San Miguel Escobar. Is there anything I can do to help his family through this crisis? Or is it possible to find out how he and his family are doing?

  2. katel July 26, 2010 at 9:59 am #

    Hi Marcia, our sponsorship staff is on vacation, but Kate Heider posted this message about Agatha on Facebook several weeks ago: “We have been contacting sponsors whose families had damage from Tropical Storm Agatha. We just got another round of updates, so we have a few more phone calls to make, but this is a case where no news from us is good news! The updates that are still rolling in are families who are reporting that they need new shoes, or replacement documents like birth certificates, not major damage. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to call the sponsorship staff at 651-917-1045.” Feel free to leave a message for Kate Heider if you have more questions!

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