#7380 - 10/05/00 12:56 PM
Caye Caulker report-Hurricane Keith update
Joined: Oct 1999
Things rolling along in Caye Caulker about as good as can be expected.
Got an instant message forwarded from Wendy in Washington, D.C. Who just
happened to be online when Diane came on, in Belize City. Both are my
daughters from Caye Caulker.
Diane has a long scheduled trip to Connecticut and will be arriving in
Miami, tomorrow Friday. Will get the full story then. But this news is
up todate and timely.
Good news is that the Community Center on Caye Caulker is the center of
a food distribution program. It is working under the guidance of the PUP
area representative Patty Arceo and Village Council Chairman, Mr.
Fermin. Diane says the Caye resident families are for the most part,
eating up their perishables, since there is no electricity for
refrigeration. They have limited food and water but are okay. The other
mainlanders who migrate to the Caye for seasonal tourist work are the
ones mostly in the queues for rations at the Community Center. The Caye
permanent residents are basically sharing among themselves and extended
family are being looked after. With that rain, you can dig a shallow
well of six feet and get a layer of rain water floating on top of the
salt water and get drinking water. It was probably brackish a couple of
days ago, mixed with salt. But should be settling out now. The
mainlanders on the island probably don't know this trick. The permanent
villagers should though. Shelters can be rough made, from torn zinc
roofing and scattered broken lumber. Sand flies would be a problem and
you need smudges when so low to the ground. Usually a tin can with
coconut husks smouldering making a smoke. You live in the smoke if the
There were about 30 houses destroyed totally mostly on back side. My
daughter Wendy's house is standing with no roof but UNSAFE and will have
to be knocked down and rebuilt. She will be filing an insurance claim.
Diane and Tina had their roofs partially peeled, but also damaged, so
that the roofs are totalled. Diane says her tenant Duey, who lives
upstairs in the upper condo has patched a makeshift roof. Soon as Diane
gets insurance claim, Duey will look after the repairs. Tina, I'm not
sure about. Ex-wife Ilna Auxillou, her house is severely damaged, roof
is totally gone, but she is still stuck in Guatemala City with a
previously serious injured relative. Cannot get back to the Caye to do
anything about it. Sharon's house is okay, no damage. Didn't get word
on the old folks, Aunt Ofelia and Laly, but Di indicated they were eating
Diane thinks if they get the infra-structure repaired fast they will
have a December tourist season as usual. Lots of cleanup though,
especially the beach.
For persons who are sending relief supplies and stuff, I was going to
recommend Diane Kuylen my daughter as distribution. During Hurricane
Hattie I had trouble with the Village Council members taking most of the
good stuff for themselves and they kept most of the donated tools. With
my ex-Ilna Auxillou in Guatemala City, there wasn't anybody I know
anymore in this new generation I could trust. But the current Chairman
of the Village Council, Mr. Fermin, a person unknown to me, is highly
recommended by all four of my daughters. He is of their generation.
They say he is fair, extremely honest and will do the job right. So if
you are sending anything to Caye Caulker, send it c/o of the Village
Council Chairman Mr. Fermin. I trust their judgement on his character and
What few boats are left are price gouging. Water taxi fares have
jumped 100% to $30 each way to the mainland and $60 round trip. That is
exorbitant and out of the reach of many of the people on Caye Caulker who
are mainlanders. They will not be able to go into the mainland and do
any shopping or emergency affairs. They are stuck on the island.
There was a mistake on the earlier deaths report. Sergio Alamina
should have read Sergio Alamilla and he is from San Pedro. We had been
discussing this point all morning, as the names are similar. We know him
as TAGE. Him and his girlfriend and nothing has been heard from, or
about him and family. Seems he was sitting next to Diane in the port
Belize City doing his e-mail also. Alive and well! Who that was died on
the catamaran, I don't know. Tage's obituary was written to fast. He
should be pleased on how much people think of him. At least he gets to
find out while he is alive.
There is a money shortage. With no tourism, lobster traps scattered
to hell and gone and no boats to raise them, income opportunities are
zero, Diane says for the rest of the FALL to winter months. It's all
outlay and loans that are needed. Bad situation. If the GOB gets
electricity and phones back, the situation should recuperate starting
December by Xmas.
All in all, things are moving along pretty good. If the trade wind
keeps blowing 12 to 20 mph, sunny days and no rain, life should be okay
for everybody, even the homeless. This is a tropical paradise island you
know. Though they tell me a lot of the coconut trees are gone.
Breaking news flash from Caye Caulker - 1:30 p.m. Talking to Diane on
Instant Messenger from the port town Belize City. She says there is
plenty of food at the center doled out by Chairman Fermin and
Representative Patty Arceo and other volunteers. She takes turns with
others. She is using well water, so is rest of family. Not excellent,
nor the best with all the septic tanks, but working. No diarahhea yet.
High praise for GOB, she says they have a major relief effort on and
doing excellent. The Caye Caulker Water Taxi Association are organizing
today to see what they have and how they will operate, but back in
business some kind of way by tomorrow. Diane said she was grabbing rides
on relief boats. Maybe that is where the high price is coming from for
the rides. The BDF are cleaning streets, people are cleaning up their
own messes. She is upbeat and optimistic. Says the island will
definitely be open for the tourist season by December 1st. The front
never got the massive devastation of the back part. With the sun shining
everybody is busy. The beach reclamation is fine, bit of seaweed tossed
up needs cleaning,
looks good for the
[This message has been edited by Marty (edited 10-05-2000).]
#7382 - 10/05/00 01:30 PM
Re: Caye Caulker report-Hurricane Keith update
Some more info from my conversation with Diane:
For those who keep asking about Cynthia Fessenden, Diane says she is alive, fine and well and feeding hungry people from her Yoo Hoo Deli. Mom, please take note.
Mary Jo from Sandbox Restaurant cooks every day and gives away food, not a lot she says, and first come first served, but free non-the-less.
It is currently illegal to sell alcohol so the alkies are having a bit of a trouble.
All the coconut trees that lined the way on the street from the main front pier to the main back pier are now down on the ground, all facing east.
The Village Council office is currently being manned by volunteers, herself sometimes, sometimes her neighbors and friends. Everyone is chipping in to help.
She says the rumor about only 10 houses standing on Caye Caulker is untrue. There were about 30 houses down. My cousin Ivan's is one of them.
For those who were worried for me about my trailer, it is perfect she says. Not even a scratch. Whew! No insurance on that, and it holds all my dear possessions such as photographs of my kids and what not.
My house is damaged, roof caved in, and probably needs to be demolished, she says.
Ivan Alamina's house, behind Ms. Ofelia's house across from the Police Station is biscuit.
No erosion on the new beach reclamation. New and wide beach still intact, except that it is littered with debris and now needs to be cleaned. Dredge did drown.
Water was up to about 5' in the back of the island in the worst of the storm
She and Tina spent the first night at the school, and the 2nd night (the worst night) at John Marin's house (neighbor behind her house). "Mein, his house is built for Sampson. I felt so safe there, not like the school." were her comments.
Dolphin Bay Travel, contrary to previous reports, is totally intact. Roof of my mom's house is lost, however, and overhang at Pasta House.
Lots of cleaning going on, and people working their buts off to get the place ready.
That's my story folks.... and I'm sticking to it. Glad to hear from my sis and to know everyone is okay....
#7383 - 10/05/00 01:47 PM
Re: Caye Caulker report-Hurricane Keith update
Jun 10th, 2007