Hurricane Eta ravaged Honduras, Nicaragua, and Guatemala on November 3rd, 2020, leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless. As the winds receded, grim reports emerged: over 200 people died, catastrophic flooding affected water and sanitation, and deadly mudslides buried what little remained.
The number of people suffering is overwhelming. Despite the passage of time and immediate aid, the area's economy and infrastructure remains in shambles. UNICEF estimates more than 1.5 million children are affected. The region continues to face the triple threat of extreme weather, mass migration caused by economic instability and violence, and food insecurity.
Scientists have declared Honduras, one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, as the country most affected by climate change. Though they are responsible for less than .1 of the carbon emissions, the climate crisis has accelerated food scarcity, plagued sanitation issues, and forced migration from a land where more than 60% live below poverty. In Central America's Dry Corridor, an area that stretches from Costa Rica to the Mexican border, for the last five straight years farmers have watched helplessly as drought has killed over half their crops, leaving more than 3.5 million people without food. Now, in a cruel turn of events, with the onslaught of the hurricane, their withered fields are covered by mudslides from the torrential rains.
Sadly, for our Latin American neighbors, the end is nowhere in sight. As the pandemic and food scarcity continue to wreak havoc in the region, continue, it’s still raining today in Honduras.
1. Take up a shoe drive in your school or local community--check out one idea here.
For millions of people, climate change is more than a hashtag or a news story.
-Alexandra Blitch, President of Forces of Nature