Travel {The Earthquake Children of La Libertad}

Last Sunday, August 26, I traveled with high school friends to La Libertad for an outreach program supported by the Filipino-American Social Club. La Libertad is one of the towns hardest hit by the earthquake that hit the island back in March. People lost their homes and the damage to infrastructure was also severe. Our island became the focus of national and even international news when the earthquake hit. Sadly, it also took a lot of lives.

Today, people are slowly getting back on their feet, but they need a lot of help. A lot of people are still living in tents, especially those who are living along the coast. They were the ones hardest hit when the earthquake came, since most of them were living in shanties that were easily demolished by the quake. And with most of them barely eking out a living, rebuilding their homes is something that most families could not afford to do.


Aside from shelter, food is also a problem. The people of La Libertad need all the help they can get in terms of food and even medications, especially since there are a lot of growing children among them. When we arrived I noticed how many the children were, with some as young as a couple of months old. It was surprising to note that disease among the children is not really a serious problem,    except for dengue which is a high risk since they live in a place where there are pools of stagnant water. 

It is, however, very encouraging to see the children and adults still able and ready to laugh and smile, despite their current living conditions. They laugh and play like other normal children, and although it it hard not to notice a certain trace of sadness when they tell stories about how it's like to live in a tent, that sadness disappears when they flash a smile as I point my camera at them. Children are resilient and hardy, and perhaps being so young is helping them cope with this tragedy better than most adults.  


2 comments:

Kat said...

It's refreshing to see how these children have the simplest ways of having fun. They don't have any toys, like remote control cars, iPads, video games but they still enjoy themselves. I kinda miss that, not just in kids but in adults as well.

It's nice that these problems don't dwell on the minds of children, because they have their whole lives ahead of them.

joselle said...

True Kat, being a child can be such a blessing especially when it comes to calamities such as these.

 

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