In January, Brenda Toro waved farewell to several of her neighbors and friends who were boarding buses in the Metropolitan Grand Central in San Pedro Sula, Honduras’ largest city. The group was bound for the United States. Brenda’s friends were going north to, perhaps, new lives far from Chamelecón, their tattered village in the department of Cortés, about 10 minutes away from the city by car. They were attempting to escape the grip of gang violence and poverty and putting behind them memories of ravaging floods that came a year ago with back-to-back hurricanes.

Brenda’s family is among the many for whom life changed after the storms. Almost nine months have passed since Brenda and her family saw their house collapse and had to move under the Chamelecón Bridge. But today, they are still begging authorities to help them rebuild their home so that they can move back in. The ongoing uncertainty of disaster relief is one of the reasons why she now carries regret for not having joined the migrant caravan in January. 

 

A Flood of Misery, published in July 2021 for Palabra, NAHJ.

Words by María Aguilar

Images by Zaydee Sanchez