Mexico Trek!   Trekkers DISPATCH: September 16 Monica's Log

Tragedy in Chiapas, Part 1 - Massive Flooding

Today President Zedillo watched as representatives of all the military forces: Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and others, paraded past the Zocalo, saluting him and singing the national anthem in the spirit of patriotism today, Mexican Independence Day. Last night's festivities in the Zocalo President Zedillo inspects floodingcontinued today as hundreds of thousands turned out to watch the parade, complete with caballos (horses), marching music, and a sense of true solidarity and pride. However, the numbers of military personnel this year were much less than in previous years. Why? Because almost half of all the Armed Forces are in southern Chiapas right now, helping with the major flooding happening there.

The front page headline of the newspaper "El Universal" blares about the "Tragedy in Chiapas" and reports 417 people dead and 554 missing because of the rains, flooding, and giant mudslides that have wiped out entire villages. 400,000 people, including a handful of Floodwaters in TapachulaAFS students, have been affected. (What’s AFS? Read Monica's August 21 update to learn how you can travel to different countries!)

Bridges and roads disappeared under the torrential rains. Many people do not have access to food or water. Some families have moved to other cities or higher ground temporarily to escape the flooding, and many more families need government aid. Some people believe that the bodies of those who have disappeared may have been buried under the mud or been washed into the Pacific Ocean.

If you would like to help you can contact your local chapter of the Red Cross or visit the Red Cross website to make a donation of food, medicine, or money. For more information on the flooding, check out this article on CNN.



Related Dispatches: 
Monica - Tragedy in Chiapas, Part 1 - Massive Flooding
Team - Tragedy in Chiapas, Part 2 - Civil War

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