In September 2014, Los Cabos Mexico was marked forever by the impact of Hurricane Odile. While the memories of that day live on for those who lived through it, the event ultimately generated a movement that would benefit the community.
In the days following Odile, Grassroots Global Development Foundation focused on getting support to the people most impacted by the hurricane. Allison Dake, Executive Director of Grassroots Global, recently discussed the project’s evolution.
“Immediately after Odile, the people of Los Cabos desperately needed emergency aid. This need prompted us to start a fund where Mexican, US, and other international donors could support our efforts.”
With the Cabo Hurricane Fund established, Grassroots Global leadership began to work together with other organizations and NGOs in Baja Sur to support humanitarian relief. These efforts included delivering groceries, medicine, water filters, and other supplies to areas most affected by the storm. With incredible partners and the financial resources to achieve more, Allison began to consider the next step.
“The first phase of Cabo Hurricane Fund was all about providing humanitarian assistance through a coalition we formed. But we ultimately knew that this project would have a second phase that involved long-term infrastructure support to some of Los Cabos most at-risk communities.”
Nearly six months after Odile made landfall, that second phase is finally taking shape. Following extensive dialogue and surveys with vulnerable communities across Los Cabos, the need for reconstruction and housing support was clear. The majority of families interviewed reported severe damage to their homes and property.
Isaac Garcia, the Project Manager for the Cabo Hurricane Fund, has been working hard with municipal officials and other local agencies to establish a sustainable plan for housing support.
“There is a social commitment behind this project and a great ethical responsibility that I am guided by as an architect. We have determined a clear process to address the needs.”
That process starts when families submit an application for support from Cabo Hurricane Fund. To date, more than 200 applications have been received. Each family’s situation is closely evaluated, and they are matched with whatever CHF programs they are eligible to participate in. Currently there are several CHF programs providing reconstruction support ranging from total home rebuilds to housing resources and guidance.
Cabo Hurricane Fund has initiated work in several colonias near Cabo San Lucas including Tierra, Libertad, and Leonardo Gastelum. In the San José del Cabo area, the primary focus has been in Vista Hermosa. Some of the initial beneficiary families will be sharing their stories throughout March and April as construction gets underway.