Street Interviews - "Has the hurricane changed your life? Do you think or do things differently?

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 10, No. 40            November 2, 2000

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Celia Pedro

Celia Pedro - Pescador Drive - I have definitely seen a change after the hurricane. The attitude of people towards me has changed. My children's family has become much closer to me now. I especially thank Mrs. Flora Ancona for being extra supportive and helpful to my family. I also thank Atlantic Bank for their kind donations.

    This disaster has made me stronger and taught me that being a single mother, one shouldn't only depend on others. We should learn to struggle for our children. They will always come first in my life.

Socorro Rodriguez

Socorro Rodriguez - Boca del Rio area - My life has changed drastically since Hurricane Keith. Both my home and business were destroyed and we were forced to move to an apartment on Barrier Reef Drive. My days before this disaster were kept busy between the house chores and assisting my husband in his business (mechanic shop). Now I find that the days have become longer since I am not working.

    I certainly think differently after this experience. Probably the first thing is that we should not overspend and save money wisely. We should be prepared for disasters like the one we previously experienced. A good way to begin is by building sturdy homes rather than going for modern models. We should not be so passionate about luxuries but rather plan ahead for the well-being of our families.

Natalie Palen

Nurse Natalie Palen - North Ambergris Caye - Things are different especially at work because things have been disorganized. I don't think or behave differently now, I live every day the same. I try to live the best I can, except that I don't have electricity and I am washing by hand. I can't go to work with my motorcycle as I use to, instead I travel by a boat that we borrowed.

    Yes, I became very upset after the hurricane. I went on mourning for San Pedro and became very depressed. I have nightmares and worry about everyone who is still suffering from the hurricane.

Reina Villamil

Reina Villamil - San Pedrito area - We have been living a totally different life after the horrible experience we went through. Keith destroyed our home and left us with nothing but the clothes we had on. We were given refuge at the San Pedro Roman Catholic School where we were left to the mercy of those who were in charge of distributing food. We then moved to the temporary shelter on Barrier Reef Drive.

    Although we lived in a humble place before the hurricane, life was much better. It was small, simple and we lived only with the basic necessities, but it was our own. We didn't have to depend on anyone to feed and help us. The hurricane has left us disoriented. We had to work very hard to get the little we had, and we now have to start all over again, since we lost everything.

Melanie Paz

Melanie Paz - Boca del Rio area - The things I took for granted before, I have learned to appreciate more now. I feel more grateful for all my family. Simple things like sunset and sunrise are a big deal to me now. They seem more beautiful than they did before. I appreciate things more and don't take the simple things of life for granted.

    I still have my normal routine but as far as living life, I am living it more. I live every day to the fullest. This particular hurricane taught me to take one day at a time. It has given me a new appreciation for life.

Ruth Marin

Ruth Marin - South Ambergris Caye - Things have changed, especially when it comes to work. Because of the large amount of destruction there is probably about twice the amount of work. At home, I don't have electricity and have to haul water by the buckets and wash with a scrubbing board.

    Before, we worked to improve our homes, to make everything look pretty and focused on our material possessions. I believe now we should concentrate on appreciating one another and being kind to each other. It is a change of attitude. Material things can be replaced, human lives can't. Let's learn to love one another before it is too late.

Guadalupe Hob

Guadalupe Hob - San Juan area - What has changed the most after the hurricane has been my work routine. I am an evening food vendor who, in the past, would work from seven in the evening to five in the morning to serve those who are out late at night. Now this has changed because of the curfew and because there are not as many people out at night.

    I am still selling food but it is basically only for lunch. I found that it was important to provide food to those who have been working during the day. I am not complaining at all. I am happy that we are alive and can still work. We were very lucky.

Apolonius Acosta

Apolonius Acosta - Teacher - San Pedro Town - I believe that in situations like this one, we should still be positive. This hurricane really taught us a lesson. We should be prepared for whatever the case may be.

    We should be optimistic and ready for the challenges. I sincerely believe that we should uplift one another. We should be constructive rather than destructive in whatever the case may be.

Cherry Reyes

Cherry Reyes - behind Coconut Drive - We never expected a hurricane like this. This made us realize how fragile our lives are. Money-wise, we take things for granted. We should not be overspending because one never knows what tomorrow can bring. We should always be prepared.

    I feel life goes on.

    Even when things are at their worst, we should pick-up the pieces and put them together. We should not live for yesterday; we have to think of the present and of tomorrow. This experience made me realize how fortunate we were. Now that a lot of our possessions were damaged, I have learned to value things more.
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