A Home for Bertha

Dear friends,

In early September, the small mountain town in Puebla where my husband’s family lives received more than 12 inches of rain over 10 days during hurricane Katia (half of which came on Sept 9 accompanied by high winds), leaving his older sister’s primitive home made of wood planks and beams completely saturated with water. With relative humidity close to 100% for the entire month of September and no way to dry the wood, it quickly began to grow mold. Then less than two weeks later on September 17th, a 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit and splintered several beams and completely broke others.  The roof is patched, both inside and out, in several places and still leaks. 

This wonderful woman (Bertha) who raised my husband lives with her two teenaged children - Rosenda and Juan, who has special needs and needs constant care. She is a selfless and hardworking single mother with health problems of her own who has lived in what we would consider extreme poverty her entire life and now worries about her home collapsing on her family as they sleep at night in addition to the health problems that come with being exposed to so much mold. My husband calls her every week but she never let on to how dangerous her home is. A family emergency last week took him back to Mexico for a few days where he saw the damage first hand. This family struggles just to put food on the table. They live with two bare lightbulbs hanging from the rafters and without plumbing or HVAC. They sleep on wooden platforms topped with a blanket and cook over an open fire. As you can imagine, rebuilding is completely out of the question without help from kind people like you. The cost to demolish the existing home and build a new cinder block home on the existing slab foundation is $4,000US and construction will begin as soon as the money is raised. We are trying to sell off some things we don’t need but we don’t know how else we can collect enough without asking for help. 

Thank you for taking the time to read through this. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.
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Organizer

Brittany Barrett 
Organizer
Grimes, IA
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