TEGUCIGALPA – The once village La Reina, which was buried in November due to the effects of tropical storms Eta and Iota in western Honduras, will be built on another site with the name of San Francisco de Asís, thanks to the donation of a managed land by the priest Leopoldo Serrano.
“Solidarity is making it possible for the Queen to rise again in a safe place for some 330 families affected by the two storms, the Honduran religious, of the Franciscan order, said in a telephone communication.
The Queen, with her houses, her school and her church were left among rubble and thousands of tons of mud, tree trunks and agricultural crops washed away by a major landslide on November 22, without fatalities, a few days after Eta and Iota, leaving a trail of destruction and pain in Honduras.
The tragedy that the Queen suffered was transcended to the world by Serrano, who a day before officiated the last mass in the village church.
The Catholic temple was dragged several meters from the top of the hill where La Reina stood.
DAMNIFIED WILL HAVE A LAND FOR THEIR HOUSE
Serrano indicated that thanks to an anonymous donor, who responded to his request for help, it has been possible to have a piece of land in the Macuelizo sector, department of Santa Bárbara, for La Reina to reappear with the name of San Francisco de Asís.
He added that the state National Agrarian Institute (INA) has already begun to divide the land into lots, in an area of 40 blocks (56.7 hectares), of which about 15 will be for the homes of the victims.
Storm Eta has left about 18 people dead as it passed through Central America.
The new community will also have a school, a college, a nursing home, a center for single mothers, a police station, a church and a large area for planting trees.
The land for each affected family measures about 150 square meters and 30 of the lots will be reserved for residents of La Reina who, after the passage of the two tropical storms, left for the United States and Spain, from where they will send money to build the house of his family, Serrano said.
For the rest of the victims, help is being sought, since many do not have economic resources to build their homes.
The storm is keeping large numbers of homes underwater.
SERRANO CONTINUES WAITING FOR HELP FROM THE GOVERNMENT
Serrano said that the CEPUDO organization (Training, Education, Production, Unification, Development and Organization, non-governmental) has offered the construction of at least 20 houses, to which there are 4 by a bakery and 3 by an institution in Guatemala.
The religious is still waiting for help promised by the Government, which he hopes will be the one to build most of the houses for the victims, because, according to him, there are public funds for that.
Apparently, according to Serrano, a government commission would be arriving next week in the Macuelizo sector to meet with INA authorities, with whom they would discuss the construction of the houses in the new community.
One of the villagers was crossing the ravine with a bicycle raised in his arms, while another only wore his shoes and was about to be swept away by the current.
“But even not seeing is not believing, because the Government has lied to us a lot, it has only been promises,” stressed the priest, who continues to wait for the solidarity of other sectors, national and foreign.
In what was left of La Reina, he indicated that no one has returned to that place because of the danger it represents and that the important thing is that the victims will have a home, even if it is small, so that they can live safely, in a place with green areas and a source of water.
Other affected families from neighboring La Reina will also live on the land on which the new community will be built.
Serrano also indicated that some 8 families affected by La Reina are already living on the land of what will be San Francisco de Asís, in a space where there were galleys for cattle.
These families, in addition to taking care of the land, are also collecting stones from a quarry, which they will no longer have to buy to build their house, he said.
Serrano recalled that La Reina was destroyed by a huge landslide from the center of Cerro La Correa, which was partly due to the fact that the upper part suffered environmental damage from the felling of trees, to the extent of forming a lagoon.
That caused the earth to detach, dragging and burying the entire village, according to the religious’s account.
According to historical notes, the town of La Reina was originally called El Diluvio, because it rained up to three days in a row, but it was until about 50 years ago that the priest Roque Casal changed its name, to be called La Reina de los Ángeles.