Compassion Drives Community Efforts In Wake Of Tropical Storm Nate

Volunteers work together to prepare food at Iglesia Radical

Today Costa Rican communities are assessing the damage done by Tropical Storm Nate which has affected most of the nation in some way.  It has caused heavy rains, landslides and flooding which has blocked roads, destroyed bridges and damaged houses.  Hundreds of thousands of  people are without running water and thousands are sleeping in shelters, according to Teletica News. Here in Playa Jaco and our surrounding neighborhoods, many people have had to evacuate who live in areas on or close to rivers. We spoke with the Municipality and also Iglesia Radical, which has sheltered 104 people over the past couple of days, according to Pamela Knapp. Most of the local people in need live in the community of El Hueco, also known as El Rio, as their houses are built in the immediate area of the river that flows from Quebrada Seca under the highway and into Jaco.

Fallen tree on highway yesterday morning, across from C.T.P in Jaco

According to Juan Carlos Bordas Chaves of the Municipal Police Force in Jaco, the nearby areas that have been most affected are El Hueco, Quebrada Ganado, Tarcoles, Esterillos and Quebrada Amarilla. He reports that the Tarcoles Bridge was closed, the section of Pacific Highway before Parrita and Route 27 to San Jose. The storm resulted in “crecidas rios, arboles caidos y traslado de gente que vive cerca de rios,” he confirms. *Flooded rivers, fallen trees and the transfer of people living near rivers.

Shelter and Solace

According to Tobias Brenes of Herradura, a volunteer at Iglesia Radical, many people who stayed at the church last night will return again tonight. Even if the danger has passed, many are still scared, he explains, and they are welcome to come back. The church provides the transportation. When we visited today, volunteers were busy preparing food in the kitchen for the adults and children that have taken shelter at the local church. Children were playing and eating popcorn on the church’s campus, located on the highway adjacent to the town.

Pastor’s wife Pamela Knapp with her reliable crew of volunteers

How You Can Help

Pamela explained that local areas most affected besides El Hueco are Pipasa in Herradura, Quebrada Amarilla, Tulìn in Hermosa and Copey, an area below one of the nearby bridges where there are several houses. The church sent 30 lunches to Pipasa today and are preparing bags of both food and hygiene supplies for those in need.

Some of the items most needed are bags of rice and bean along with hygiene items such as deodorant and toothpaste. Diapers are also in high demand. You can drop off items directly at the church which is located directly across from AutoTica.  Just pass through the main gate. You will see ongoing activity as volunteers work together to get necessesities where they are most needed. 

Costa Rica was put on Alerta Roja, or Red Alert, yesterday. President Solis has issued a Duelo Naciònal, National Mourning, for three days in honor of the six Costa Ricans that lost their lives due to the storm.

Animals Need Your Help Too

Wendy Villalobas, experienced and well known veterinarian here in Jaco, reports that donations needed and welcomed for animals include the following:

  • Dog and cat food
  • Food and water dishes
  • Blankets.

Her office is located 100 meter east of the Municipality of Jaco and the phone number is 2643-2960.

You can get in touch with McKee Jaco through Facebook.

In light of the devastations caused by Tropical Storm Nate, it is refreshing and dignifying to live among people whose mission is to serve others in need. Compassion is alive and strong in our Jaco community.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to talk to us today.


Local students collecting donations in Jaco today