I know many of the folks corresponding on the board are familiar with
one of Belize's big income earners, tourism, so their focus is on
Placencia. Agriculture is another major income producer in Belize,
rivalling tourism, and that has been severely damaged by Iris. Please
remember that the Maya in Toledo grow their own food as well as staple
crops for the nation and use the forests for building supplies -- the
crops and the trees are gone. I understand from folks in PG that the
roads are flooded, even the bridge to Columbia, so no or few supplies
are getting to those who have lost their homes and their livelihoods.
There is no fuel in the district. Helicopters are supposed to be
coming, but my informant didn't know if they had yet arrived to assist
those in need.

In the banana producing areas a bit farther north, people are in a
similar terrible situation. They don't build their own homes, but the
dwellings they did have were destroyed and their employment disappeared
in Iris's winds.

You aren't going to get much news from the villages because even in the
best of times modern communication is difficult or not available at
all. Please don't let those generous people who want to help forget the
many, many people who had very little and now have nothing -- people
that tourists do not meet, in villages where few tourists go. They need
help, too, and booking a visit to Cayo or San Pedro isn't going to do
much for them.

Thanks for listening,

Cacao Grower
Toledo District