Central America

Hurricanes

Please bring hope to those who have lost everything.

On November 3 and 16, two Category 4 hurricanes, Eta and Iota, slammed into the same coastal regions of Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala. The high winds and unrelenting rain caused extensive wind damage, flooding, and landslides.

Homes have been lost, crops destroyed, and to those impacted, hope seems beyond their reach.

But MAF is working to restore that hope as the disaster response team began work in Guatemala after Hurricane Eta struck. MAF and their Central American affiliates flew family food packs to isolated areas completely cut off from any access. A family food pack consists of rice, beans, oil, noodles, and a high protein soy/corn milk substitute drink.

Evacuation flights were also flown, along with bringing in search and rescue teams into an area devastated by landslides.

Honduras Hurricane

Yes, I want to help those impacted by these hurricanes!

MAF’s work expanded into Honduras, word came that another major hurricane, Iota, was following the same path as Eta. On November 15, the MAF team hunkered down in La Ceiba, Honduras, and the storm came ashore on November 16.

The report from the assessment flights that followed said, “There is extensive flooding across the coastal region. In the river areas, villages and crop lands are inundated with water. Residents from flooded areas have taken refuge in towns on higher ground.

MAF has been working with churches to deliver food packets to evacuees. However, with crops that were ready to harvest now destroyed, these food needs will grow in the coming months.

MAF is attempting to expand relief work into Nicaragua and just received approvals to fly in the country. Relief operations in three different countries is a major undertaking, and your help is needed to continue these efforts.

Please pray for MAF’s disaster response team and the people impacted by these storms. Can you also consider providing a gift to help bring relief to the people in need of food, shelter, and medical assistance?

Your gift will bring hope and help to people who have been hit by two hurricanes in a row. Please give today! With your help, MAF will continue to deliver food, material for shelters, and aid teams to assist. MAF’s disaster response in Central America needs your help!

Thank you for considering this need.

The Honduran side of the program will transition to supporting the SP helicopter that will daily fly to San Pedro Sula to fly medical teams/clean water systems etc to remote areas. There is still substantial flooding damage in North Guatemala and the AGAPE team will start doing that when they return.

John Woodbury,
Director, MAF Global Disaster Response

Canadian MAF pilot, Nick Frey has been dispatched to help with coordination and flight operations.

Below are some of his daily blog posts from Honduras.

Canadian MAF pilot, Nick Frey has been dispatched to help with coordination and flight operations.

Below are some of his daily blog posts from Honduras.

December 12

  • WASH team of 2 to Calan in one flight
  • Pickup of med team of 8 from Olanchito in two flights
  • Return/pickup of WASH team from Calan
  • Last day of SP clinic in San Pedro Sula. They treated over 2000 people in that clinic alone over the last several weeks/months.
  • Sunday is day off for flight crew. We resume Monday with WASH flights and then wash and mobile med flights all next week.

December 11

  • Medical team of 8, flight to Olanchito in 2 loads. The med team will spend the night in Olanchito and be picked up tomorrow afternoon since it was such a long flight in the helicopter (50min one way).
  • WASH team of Ricky and myself, along with Nadji and Megan from flight ops who tagged along, completed the water system in Uracco. They were very happy and the clinic now has drinking water enough for the whole community.

December 10

  • Medical team of 8, flight to St Theresa in 2 loads
  • WASH team of Ricardo Geigel (Ricky) and myself spent 4 hours in Uracco installing water system that was slung load to us.  I helped set up and connect the water system at a small clinic/health center so they can have clean drinking water and share with the village. We didn’t finish so we’ll head back tomorrow. The pilot was able to drop the water system sling load in the back of a truck which was great because it saved us from lifting it in the truck after! Very cool and fun day.

December 9

  • Medical team of 8, flight to Uracco in 2 loads
  • WASH team of 2 with some tools and equipment to Calan
  • Afternoon flights picking up above teams and bringing them back to San Pedro Sula

December 8

  • Medical team of 8, flight to Corinto (near Guatemala border) in 2 loads. Weather made these trips take longer as we had rain and low clouds and the helicopter needed to find ways around some mountains.
  • Ground crew moved to sling load departure site which is a soccer field adjacent to SP operation Christmas child warehouse
  • WASH team of 2 with installation equipment and tools, flight to Calan
  • 3 sling loads (800lbs + 700lbs + 200lbs = approx. 1700lbs) for water purification system from soccer field to Calan
  • Water systems which can filter about 10,000 litres a day providing enough drinking water for 1500 to 2000 people daily
  • Afternoon flights were picking up above teams and bring them back to hangar at San Pedro Sula

December 7

  • Medical team of 8, flight to San Luis Planes in 2 loads
  • WASH team of 2 with 100 buckets, 100 Sawyer filters and 100 plastic water jerry cans to Uracco in 2 loads
  • Afternoon pick up of the above teams
  • Also coordinating and ironing out details for tomorrow’s sling loading of 3 part water system to Calan village. The system is a total weight almost 2000lbs and will require 4 flights/loads to deliver with helicopter.

December 6

  • Pilot Seth was released from isolation Sat Dec 5 after confirmed covid negative, so we planned flights for Sunday since we had several down days. During those down days we were able to complete renovations at the hangar office and bathroom which was previously unused for 15 years
  • Water sanitation team (WASH) flight from San Pedro Sula to Olanchito, 50min one way flight to asses the village for water system. They spent a couple hours on the ground connecting with locals and working out details of water system
  • Mobile Medical team flight to asses San Luis Planes, Urraco, and Corinto sites for medical brigades.

Nov 29

  • We had Sunday morning off to sleep in and watch church online, etc. Pilots stayed at hotel all day
  • I joined the construction crew of 4 guys and we did some light renovations on the hangar office and bathroom where we’re basing our ops. Patched drywall, replaced toilet, replaced faucet and some water lines, etc

Nov 30

  • First two flights out was a medical team to Urraco/Yolo area about 15min by helicopter. 4 pax each flight with 70lb med supplies bag.
  • Next two flights out were water system team to Calan village about 20min by helicopter. Only 3 pax but lots of buckets for clean water storage and Sawyer water filters etc. They also did assessment to install a large water purification system.
  • While those teams did their field work the flight crew and I drove around town buying more supplies for office at hangar. Air Conditioner which was installed today (yay!) and some couches, door hardware, drywall, etc. We will be spending about 10hrs per day at the hangar so we’re glad it’s looking nicer than when we found it. It was previously unused for 15 yrs and quite degraded
  • Afternoon flights picked up both water and medical teams and brought them back.
  • I went along as copilot on first afternoon flight and got some great footage through the feet window out front including the landing in the soccer field
  • Washed helicopter and serviced its air conditioner and put it in the hangar just after sunset
  • That’s it for today 😉A few pics of praying with everyone before first flight, loading water team and my flight to pick them up, and myself and Josue (driver who was just baptized by SP staff Ricky.

Nov 28

  • Today we moved helicopter to a new base of operations in San Pedro Sula. 3hr drive from La Ceiba, or 45min flight in heli
  • Agape 185 departed La Ceiba and returned to Guatemala where it will continue to help out in relief efforts there
  • Agape 206 will leave Sunday for Nicaragua, they needed to get flight permission to enter the country which takes 48hrs. This gave them the time to say goodbye properly to everyone who helped us during our (DR Team) 2 weeks there. John Woodberry said “you have to leave well and really thank everyone who helped us.” I gave him a stack of MAF pens to hand out to everyone.
  • I went via road with bags, equipment, and 2 empty fuel drums from La Ceiba to San Pedro Sula. Shot a video at departure and another one upon arrival, uploaded to dropbox along with many pictures.
  • Most of the flooding damage along that route was about 30-45min outside San Pedro near 2 rivers. Peoples homes still 1-2ft of water so they can’t live in them. Lots of people living in tents, tarps, etc alongside the road since it’s slightly higher ground. They’ve been living like this for weeks…
  • Arrived at private hangar and unloaded gear and began setting up. We now have a great place to work from, our own hangar, and