June 21, 2003 - Duyure Adelante: Max Boykoff and Monica Moore were in Duyure, Choluteca when Hurricane Mitch tore through and devastated southern Honduras.

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Honduras: Peace Corps Honduras: The Peace Corps in Honduras: June 21, 2003 - Duyure Adelante: Max Boykoff and Monica Moore were in Duyure, Choluteca when Hurricane Mitch tore through and devastated southern Honduras.

By Admin1 (admin) on Saturday, June 21, 2003 - 8:21 am: Edit Post

Max Boykoff and Monica Moore were in Duyure, Choluteca when Hurricane Mitch tore through and devastated southern Honduras.

Max Boykoff and Monica Moore were in Duyure, Choluteca when Hurricane Mitch tore through and devastated southern Honduras.

Max Boykoff and Monica Moore were in Duyure, Choluteca when Hurricane Mitch tore through and devastated southern Honduras. Max was working as a Peace Corps volunteer in sustainable agriculture and had been living and working in Duyure. Monica was working as a Peace Corps volunteer in environmental education in a community in southwest Honduras, San Antonio del Norte, La Paz. She was visiting Duyure when the hurricane struck.

Hurricane Mitch was dubbed the strongest and most destructive hurricane in the western hemisphere this century. The hurricane came on land as a Class 5 hurricane (sustained winds of 156 mph or more) in the Aguan River Valley in northeastern Honduras. It carved a path southwest through Honduras over the capital city of Tegucigalpa and through the southern region before heading into the Pacific Ocean. When Hurricane Mitch passed over Duyure,the strength of the storm's winds had decreased to that of a tropical depression (sustained winds of 35 mph). However, the torrential rains caused widespread flooding and landslides throughout the already deforested southern landscape.

On October 31st, during the hurricane, Max accompanied one of the three commissions of community leaders dispatched to thethree satellite villages (San Lorenzo, Apasupo, and Liraqui) inthe municipality of Duyure, located along the banks of the CholutecaRiver. The commission's purpose was to help evacuate the families whose homes were being swept away by the flooding waters. Max traveled on foot with the six person team heading to Apasupo, a two hour walk from the town center. Equipped with provisional food supplies for those left homeless, in the pouring rain the commission successfully evacuated the flooded village, and ledthe people back to the town center where others had assembled a makeshift shelter at a municipal building.

The rains passed on November 1st, and the people of Duyure assessed the damage to the community: 126 people left homeless, no electricity, a broken water system, 90% of crops washed away, cut off by landslides to outside food sources. The citizens of Duyure decided to act at once.

In the first five crucial days following the hurricane, community members restored water to the community, and cleared the road of landslides and debris up to the banks of the Rio Comali (seeRelief Projects). During this time, immediately after the hurricanepassed, Eudoro Sanchez traveled from Duyure on foot, and walked to the city of Choluteca, approximately 50 miles, in search of help for the citizens of Duyure. On the fourth day, Eudoro returned to Duyure in a helicopter dispatched to bring provisional staple foods and clothing to Duyure.

Residents of Duyure and the surrounding region worked to rebuild the roads destroyed by Hurricane Mitch.

On the afternoon of the fifth day after the hurricane passed,a note was carried from San Marcos de Colon, on foot by a memberof the Honduran forestry service, to Max and Monica. The messenger found them on the road as they worked with the community on road repairs. It was a brief message from another Peace Corps volunteer informing them that Peace Corps was evacuating Honduras, and instructing them to travel to the Honduran border with El Salvador the nextday. That evening, Max and Monica packed up a bag and were forced to hurriedly say goodbye before setting out before dawn the nextmorning.

Peace Corps evacuated the volunteers to Panama for reasons of safety and security as the citizens of Duyure continued the arduous task of reconstructing the community's damage. With little time remaining in each of their service, Max and Monica closed their service in Panama, and returned to the United States.

It was from the United States that Monica and Max founded the 'Duyure Relief Organization' in January of 1999. The focus of the organization, established as a 501(c)3 nonprofit agency, was began solely as relief aid. Along with the help of family and friends, they have worked with the priorities set by the peopleof Duyure, and have initiated relief efforts for the community (see RELIEF PROJECTS, UPDATES,and CURRENT AID PROJECTS).

Then, one year after the hurricane hit Central America the focusof the agency expanded to also include other long-term formsof aid. The agency changed its name to 'Duyure Adelante' (Duyure Forward), to appropriately reflect that growth. The work in long-term aid is still just beginning. As Jeffrey Boyer and Aaron Pell state in their article in the September/October 1999 issue ofNACLA, "the immediate and long-term damage is devastating.Nearly one year after the hurricane hit.the south (of Honduras)is a region of acute crisis".

It is now as 'Duyure Adelante' that the group works in the service of the people of the community of Duyure, in the department of Choluteca in southern Honduras.

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Story Source: Duyure Adelante

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Honduras; Disaster Relief; Service



By sallie latch (dhcp-143-68.ucsc.edu - on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 2:24 pm: Edit Post

Max, I have the very special experience of having you as my lecturer in The Environment and Economics class at UCSC this summer. It's an added surprise to read that you, like myself, were also a Peace Corps volunteer and that you are working to help the people of Duyure. I would like to know more about your involvement with the project.

Sallie Latch

P.S. I didn't go to Ohio State, but I graduated from Ohio U....

By Anonymous (proxy-divers.cegep-fxg.qc.ca - on Monday, May 14, 2007 - 9:22 am: Edit Post

Thanks for that interesting article. I am soon leaving for Duyure to help a project of international cooperation!

By Günther (p5b3dce19.dip.t-dialin.net - on Tuesday, December 04, 2007 - 8:24 am: Edit Post

my names gunther, i come from honduras. im 19 years old and im living in germany. i really enjoyed the article, specialy because i lived the whole hurricane mitch experience. i´ve allways wanted to do something like that, i just want to say thanks for helping my country, and i would also like to ask for some peace corps information. maybe i´ll decide to sign up one day.

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