Acapulco Area Flood Recovery

Raising funds for the hard hit areas around Acapulco from the recent floods for medical, food, clothing. To read more of our experiences to date go here: http://dollarvigilante.com/blog/2013/9/21/the-weekend-vigilante-september-21-2013.html#5924


Or you can read more below:


We found out on September 20th that there is an area on the very outskirts of Acapulco, on the other side of the mountains, that was especially hard hit. They said they need a lot of help and we made a plan to spend the day Friday doing just that.
My wife arranged for a load of food, water, clothes, medicine, flash lights and other extraneous items. Then we awoke on Friday and drove out to the town. It wasn't easy because the road from Acapulco to Mexico City had just opened and it was a massive traffic jam of cars, buses and trucks transporting the tens of thousands of tourists out who had been stuck all week in Acapulco with no way to leave except for some emergency flights that had incredibly long lines to get on.
A few hours later we finally arrived in the area where her brother lives and we began preparing all the items. My whole family went, including our cook and my wife's large family was all there preparing items.
Packing Food Into Individual Packets With Help From My Daughter
Packing Food Into Individual Packets With Help From My Daughter as My Nephew Offers Us Some Bread
We then loaded it all onto a large 4x4 and began the trek out to the area. It took about 45 minutes to get there but would normally take 15 minutes because many of the roads were still washed out or had large holes. Plus, as we got closer it turned more into just mudpaths... necessitating us to get the truck unstuck on numerous occasions.

From left to right, Jens, my son's godfather from Germany who picked a really bad week to visit Acapulco but helped out in fine form; my wife's brother; myself; and a friend of their family
And, to make matters worse, this place did not even seem to be accessible by road as we had to get out and walk along the river for about a kilometer to even get to it... which was the best workout I've had in a while, carrying about 75 pounds of water the distance.

Finally though we arrived and were starting to realize why this place had been inaccessible for the last 5-6 days. For starters, the bridge that had connected them to the rest of town was completely gone.

As can be seen, the bridge used to be well above the banks... appearing to be about 30 meters above current water levels. And, from seeing all the houses in the area and the water lines of those remaining it was much higher than that. Many of the houses, mostly made from concrete are just full of mud and debris.
From there, the entire crew of us, which was about 15 people, sprung into action and immediately set-up a triage location. There were already 50-100 people waiting in a line who seemed to know we'd be coming (I believe they were there yesterday also so that may be why).
One of the women with us, who I knew as a friend of the family, was in her nurse gear with the usual apparel and she quickly tended to those in most need. The rest of us were all amateurs, or like me, just a computer nerd and anarchist talking head, but we all tried to help with whatever was needed.
One of the younger girls (I believe a sister of my brother-in-laws wife) had already begun going through the line and taking names and assessing need.
The most impressive of the non-professionals was my wife's brother, however. He seemed like he knew exactly what he was doing. He was constantly dressing wounds, giving injections, assessing symptoms (and immediately seeming to know what their problem was) then calling out for all manner of medications, injections and creams by their exact medical name in exact dosages to which we all scrambled to provide.

My Brother-in-Law Dressing A Wound
I turned to my wife who was passing out food and water and said to her, "Is your brother a doctor?"
She replied with the usual look she gives me when I ask a stupid question and said, "In Mexico, you don't need to go to school to do what doctors do."
I shouldn't have been surprised. Both my wife and her entire family never cease to amaze me at how many things they can do... and do!
Finally it appeared that most of the people in most need had been tended to and I asked one of the locals about what has been going on.
"You've been basically without food, water, communication and medical attention for the last 4-5 days?" I queried.
"More or less," he said.
"Does anyone even know what is going on out here? Has anyone else came to help?" I asked.
He shrugged, "No... just your brother-in-law and his family and friends," he said.
Then I thought for a moment... for the entire day I didn't see one cop, anywhere, and not even any military or anything of the like. I saw a few ambulances, which are normally private here. In other words, government has yet again shown how absolutely useless it is when you need them and, of course, how horrible they are when you don't.
It was pure anarchy out there. Peaceful people, people in need and many volunteering their time, energy and money to help. The whole community was working together to help each other. It was quite beautiful.
I later said to my wife, "I've been shocked at how little government help there has been... other than possibly helping to re-open the roads (which was likely done by private contractors)," I said.
"You know as well as anyone, whatever money they take they put in their pockets," she responded.
She told me that there is still a lot more that needs to be done in the surrounding regions and asked if I could help raise funds. I told her I would but am not sure on exactly how to go about it. The one I have found that seems best from some brief research is gofundme.com. I have set-up a donation page there: http://www.gofundme.com/AcapulcoRecoveryFund. If you know of a better internet-based solution that we could easily set-up as soon as possible please let us know in the comments below or email [email redacted]. Also, they don't appear to accept bitcoin. If you'd like to donate via bitcoin just contact us at the above email address. We will commit to using all the funds on helping whoever we can in most need in this entire regions recent flooding... and there are plenty of places not just the one I spoke about.
I am not big, at all, on large charities but I am big on helping whenever there is a dire emergency or something important that I can help friends or family with (although I always try to call it a loan, not charity... although I rarely have the expectation to get the money back, I do want to implant the capitalist (and not welfare) mindset in as many as possible.
In the end these were mostly poor people who I wish I could help by relaying how to make money and be an entrepreneur... but now is not the time for that. And, also, I wouldn't want to raise funds to, say, rebuild houses in a flood zone. That is also giving the wrong incentive (paying people for living in areas that are at risk of disasters like this) but what they mostly need is basic emergency needs like food, water, clothing and other basic help. For that I am more than happy to help personally and to see if the community of readers we have wants to give. Even $10 or $20 goes a long way out here. The total amount of supplies I brought in (which was all the food, water and medical supplies) which really seemed to help today was about $400. The work is all voluntary and there are many ready and willing to help if they have the supplies.
Contact us if interested. A few thousand dollars here would make a big difference to a lot of people.
Near the end of the day my wife and I watched as a number of very small kids sat happily eating some of the first good food they'd had in days. The look in their eyes was more than worth it.
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Organizer

Jeff Berwick 
Organizer
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