South Pacific Costa Rica Travel Guide, disaster relief, Somos una comunidad unida ante la crisis - Costa Ballena united by the crisis

Bahía Ballena, united by the crisis

By Noilyn Ramirez, SOMOS Foundation 

Somos una comunidad unida ante la crisis - Costa Ballena united by the crisisIn 2018 we faced the crisis caused by Hurricane Nate. This experience showed us how vulnerable we could be in a natural disaster. It also made clear the level of community solidarity and the importance of having a work team that can lead disaster response in any emergency.

Based on this event, one year after Nate, in October 2019, the SOMOS Foundation created the Committee for Emergency and Disaster Assistance. SOMOS is headed by members of the Foundation's Board of Directors, it integrates local organizations, such as A.D.I Uvita, a group of volunteers and local leaders.

On March 15, 2020, due to the crisis suffered by those linked to the tourism industry in the area, loss of jobs or temporary closure of businesses, the committee was activated. The protocol was adapted to the needs specific to the emergency and the recommendations of the Ministry of Health.

The committee's attention to the crisis was summarized in 3 stages:

  1. Receipt of information from each of the families. This information is included in a database and filtered to guarantee non-duplication of efforts with other government agencies such as the Ministry of Public Education, the Mixed Institute of Social Aid, the Municipality of Osa, and regional emergency committees.
  2. Collection, purchase, and storage of food and basic necessities. Thanks to donations from residents, local businesses, and supporters of the SOMOS Foundation!
  3. Each week volunteers, in a very orderly and clean manner, deliver 40-100 packages throughout the district. They carried donations to affected people in each community. The delivery was made to the door of each house, avoiding exposing the families and following the recommendations of a sanitary order issued by the corresponding authorities.
  4. Another effort by the Somos Foundation was the creation of a virtual platform to channel donations, facilitate food collection and a storage center. Currently, they are developing a program to prepare and train the community in the revival of sustainable tourism in the area.

Until the last week of April, food was donated to 212 families in the Bahía Ballena district. We remain committed to ensuring the well-being of the community.

Be part of this initiative and write to us! With your help, we are making our region cleaner, safer, and a better place to learn, live, laugh, and work!

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