hurricaneHurricane latest

Torrential rain has caused the rivers to rise and burst their banks in La Hoya as the eye of Hurricane Ike hit Cuba on 10 September 2008. 

Connie DiLeo (Project Director) remarks in her latest email that "It is hard to believe that La Hoya had never flooded in the history of the village and now within a year, it has been flooded twice.  We are again evacuated to Barahona.  Thankfully, Bombita has not been flooded.  It seems there is some reason that the water went to canal Trujillo and not to the river that passes Bombita." 

Local people in La Hoya managed to move all their furniture in time. People in Bombita are experiencing an easier task in the clean-up operation due to their new concrete floors. Connie says " We do not need any financial help, but thank you for your prayers and for the response after Tropical Storm Noel as it is giving us strength during the present flood."

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rain1Rain and more rain

Severe weather conditions brought about by hurricanes Gustav and more recently Ike have had an impact on the Dominican Republic.

On 6 September COPA volunteers working in La Hoya and Bombita were evacuated. By the end of weekend the weather was starting to improve and the Bombita team started to consider returning to the village, but then the rain came again late on Sunday 7 September. In an email Connie Di Leo (Project Director) said that "it just poured for 8 hours and then I recived a call to say that La Hoya was beginning to flood." Volunteers and local people are still not back in the villages. The country is saturated. Officials lowered the level of water in the nearby dam at the end of last week but fortunately the Barhona area did not get the amount of rain that was expected. However, the area is still on 'red alert' and water is now being released from the dam. Connie notes that "it isn't actually raining now, but we will need to watch what happens with the dam." It could be an anxious wait.

At the end of last week, the level of canal Trujillo was worryingly high; people can still remember the flood in La Hoya last November as a result of Tropical Storm Noel. Items in the schools and the accommodation blocks have been placed as high as possible. Connie comments that "it has not been an easy hurricane season."

Further details of the recent weather conditions in the Caribbean can be found at these links on the BBC website: Hurricane IkeHurricane Gustav.

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Graduation Day 2008

Graduation Day is always an exciting day for the 8th grade students and this particular event in 2008 was no exception. These pictures show some of the 8th grade students from La Hoya. In following tradition, the students gathered in the central park and walked with their Godmother or Godfather to the school for the ceremony. It was a very proud day for staff, students, families and COPA volunteers.

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COPA supporters meet Hayley Westenra after concert

A musical evening was enjoyed by many COPA supporters in Stoke on Trent on October 18th 2008. Hayley Westenra sang songs such as Ave Maria and Scarborough Fair, as well as songs from her latest Greatest Hits album. She received a COPA calendar from Jeanne Bergin (COPA Chairperson). Read the concert review from Stoke on Trent’s local paper here.

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New toilet for Bombita

COPA Health Adviser Amy Edelstein has recently sent a number of photographs of the construction phase of a new toilet block in Bombita. Amy writes in  her email "After Storm Noel, most latrines were covered by the floods and the mud leaving the village to do their necessities in the cane fields in the village itself. The money for the latrine project was donated by a NGO that focuses on health. Now the village will have latrines shared between 3 households which excites them not only because they will have some privacy and cleanliness but because they will be able to have visitors from outside of the village to receive. The latrines are build up high to keep from water and mud blocking them and also this kind of latrine lasts longer and can be emptied and used again.” click here.

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