Salvation Army Aids Chile’s Fishing Communities

Tsunami damage in the fishing community of Dichato, Chile

Tsunami damage in the fishing community of Dichato, Chile

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

One Comment on “Salvation Army Aids Chile’s Fishing Communities

  1. As a former resident of Chile, I know the winter is upon them and the need for shelter and clean water will be urgent needs. Are there any projects to provide for these needs? How can we get the word out to get help directed at Southern Chile?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>