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New storm hits CCDA communities: Appeal for support

By admin - Posted on 19 October 2011

Dear CCDA and Cafe Justicia supporters: Tropical storm "12-E," which is lashing Central America, has hit Guatemala hard. Fortunately, the campesino organizations have improved their emergency evacuation systems and so there has been less loss of life so far than during Hurricane Stan in 2005 and even tropical storm Agatha of last year,  However, according to our partners in the Campesino Committee of the Highlands (CCDA), the damage to infrastructure, homes, and crops is at least as bad as in the previous storms. 
An update the CCDA sent BC CASA today tallies 38 dead, 14,000 families who have lost their homes, 14 bridges destroyed, many roads washed out and thousands of hectares of corn and beans under water.  The heavy rains have also begun to damage the coffee crop as ripe coffee cherries are knocked off the bushes to rot in the mud.
 And the rains continue to fall.
Of the CCDA communities, the worst affected is the Salvador Xolwuitz cooperative in Retalhuleu. The community has been cut off by mudslides that have destroyed their dirt road and carried away the tubing that supplied their water. Half of the houses have lost their roofs to the wind and rain, and many families have had to take refuge in en the cooperative's school and its coffee processing mill. The community has also lost much of its crops of coffee, bananas, corn, beans and sesame. .  
In 2009, Herlindo Hernandez Pu, Xolwitz's representative on the CCDA's national executive visited Canada to promote the Cafe Justicia fair trade coffee produced by the cooperative and other CCDA communities.  
In solidiarity with Herlindo and his fellow community members, the Cafe Justicia Network in Canada launches today a campaign to collect donations to assist with the reconstruction of Salvador Xolwitz. Donations can be sent to CoDevelopment Canada at #260 2747 East Hastings St., Vancouver, BC, V5K 1Z8. Any donation over $20 will receive a tax receipt. In order to ensure that your contribution is directed to the CCDA, please write "CCDA relief" on the memo line of your cheque. For more infomration, please write: <>

Herlindo Hernandez PU, CCDA rep in Salvador Xolwitz, Guatemala