By: Anna Reyes
In Nashville, Tennessee, the location of Global Outreach Development International's headquarters, rebuilding and cleanup is still underway after May brought record rainfall and unprecedented flash flooding that caused several deaths and billions of dollars in damage to private property.
Meanwhile, in Central America, hurricane Agatha brought chaos and destruction to millions of people. The first tropical storm of the season hit El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. The death toll is currently tallied at 180 and tens of thousands more are now homeless.
Guatemala has been the hardest hit, with some areas receiving over 3 feet of rain. It is estimated that ¼ of Guatemala's staple maize crops have been damaged. Many Guatemalan farmers operate on a subsistence level, raising only enough crops for their families to survive. As Guatemala was already ranked 4th in the world for chronic malnutrition, it is certain that this flooding will bring more loss of life as such severe crop damage will literally take the food off of these farmers' tables.
In addition, a 100 foot deep sinkhole that devoured an entire block including a 3 story factory in Guatemala City days before a volcanic eruption covered much of the area with ash on Thursday. Hurricane Agatha's rampage comes just 1 year after the devastating droughts of 2009 that left so many without food.
Flooding is a problem wherever it may occur, but for the poor who depend on the labor of each day for survival, the danger is life threatening. It is easy to fall numb to such devastating circumstances, unable to face the reality that our brothers and sisters suffer each day. However we must choose to remember the poor. At G.O.D. Int'l this endeavor becomes our driving motivation as we prepare to help those in need through education and empowerment. It is our hope that we can help communities survive together both now and for generations to come.