Salvation Army Aids Chile’s Fishing Communities
The Salvation Army in Chile is focusing their tsunami relief response mainly on the communities of Dichato and Caleta Tumbes. Many locals here fled to high ground and watched as the tsunami destroyed their homes, possessions and livelihoods, and in some instances took the lives of their loved ones.
One woman lost her 92-year-old father who decided to stay in their house after trusting his son, a local fisherman, that the sea well would not reach the house. On any other night that would have been true – but not on this occasion.
Another fisherman explained that he didn’t think about the boat he left behind as he and his family fled, and now he doesn’t know how he’ll be able to afford to pay for a new one. His family is currently living with many others in tents and makeshift shelters in woods on high ground inland from their homes.
The tsunami destroyed the communities’ fishing fleets, and this time of year is the most important for sardine fishermen. The season lasts only three months, and many earn almost their entire annual income during this short period.
The secretary of the fishermen’s cooperative in Dichato said: ‘The young men may be able to retrain to do something else but many of us are too old. All we know is fishing – it is our livelihood, it is our life.’
In addition to providing food, water, clothes, and spiritual support, The Salvation Army in Chile is considering raising donations for the purpose of replacing the boats that were swept away.
The secretary of the fishermen’s cooperative in Caleta Tumbes thanked The Salvation Army for all it was doing in the community and appealed for it to continue to give assistance.
If you would like to support The Salvation Army’s ongoing relief efforts in Chile, please visit our online donation page.
Information provided by Major Raelton Gibbs of The Salvation Army’s International Emergency Services