Beni disaster: Unsung heroes are grains of sand that imposed over the disaster

Rolando Aparicio reports for El Deber:


Unsung heroes are grains of sand that imposed over the disaster

2014-03-05 08.24.04 amSolidarity, love and empathy. The tragedy of Beni, leaves tragic images of crude suffering. In this area, they were strangers, walking neighbors, professionals and volunteers who managed to sow the best of human nature and keep hope.

When everything in Beni appears tragedy, these help appear, aid that is not measured in tons or require acts of sacrificial giving. Beings that highlight the strength of those who put themselves in the shoes of others and with their help drive the advancement assembly that overcomes tragedies. People who embody resilience for themselves and for others.

The mother is sitting in the entrance of her flooded tent, two children eat a plate and father is leaning against a tree staring. All is desolation, until the young woman comes, like in the last days was visiting with nothing but good humor. The family changed their faces. The children come and rush to get the drawings that made for her, the mother accommodates their stuff and man remembers where to find wood for their new shelter. It is the impulse of a small human gesture.

The Doctor.

Beardless as all indigenous in the area. Bony face, wide jaw and narrow eyes. The stethoscope around his neck is part of his identity. He arrived on January 26 to Rurrenabaque, a month ago , and now the authorities fear the force to fight for their patients. “No one leaves until this child is safe,” facing the officer in charge of the helicopter departing to Trinidad. The girl has an advanced pneumonia. and need specialized help.

“Now the girl is out of danger in a hospital in the capital,” he says, as he prepares his bag to go towards another village where volunteer doctors are required.

The neighbor.

Thursday, February 20, when her neighborhood (and her home) sank by the storm, with mud in the face, carrying sandbags to the levee. “I lost a lot of my stuff, but helped to save my city.”

Five days later she is camping on the side of the road as many neighbors. Organize vigils for the ring containment, facing the authorities asking tarpaulins and food for those who need it and promotes collections for the communal soup suffices for everyone.

Three days ago has the added task of walking the dike preventing men to take out the contaminated fish come ashore. Is lively and energetic end, she presents herself very respectful because she knows that “she is talking to people who are starving.” But even with a machete in her hand, faces men who refuse to listen and try to sell that fish in the neighborhood. Tireless woman, it is almost impossible to pass through the area without seeing encouraging neighbors or organizing the reconstruction of the neighborhood.

The teacher.

“It is hard to find him. Now is in the capital looking for material to improvise a school, because “in our population [the material] is more than one meter immersed in water in the classroom,” he says. He is a carpenter -turned- rural teacher, social worker and community provider. Already have developed a system for most of the 100 students in the school to keep the advance out of their homes. Every day, goes for several rounds through the town (actually the refuge to which it is reduced) delivering tasks and classes inside the tents. Parents thank him because for them it is a relief to have the kids busy and away from the water and disease.

He is now finishing building a small classroom in cooperation with several fathers of the town, who after returning from their jobs, spend a few hours sawing and nailing.


She is the favorite of children in several communities around Trinidad. Got a place to stay with a foundation and since then converses with any institution or party that can bring to a community. There comes with little hands but much in the smile, entertains children and helps them to receive care.

Children Hope, she jumps with them holding hands. While playing, she explains the dangers of being much wet or near water most of the time. When children receive their medicines, to distract, shows photos of the city from her mobile. With her, children do crafts and learn how to avoid the dangers.

The gringo.

As a translator he needed much more to translate the language. “I had to make Western doctors understand that the indigenous had their ways and to the indigenous that we had safe cures for some of the ills that could be deadly.” There was this young, far away from home, interceding for the life death situations.

So the true human value in disaster lived. Fleeting moments that transcend neighbor as hard so that life always prevail.

Key. To be organized for a fight in the emergency:

One. Urban teachers unions are organized around Beni and do get aid to schools that serve as shelter.

Two. The health center of Puerto Almacen is under water for a month. Since then doctors attend in roadside tents.

Three. Several private companies and farm workers placed machines for restoration work and prevention.

Four. On February 20, Beni volunteer firefighters remembered its tenth anniversary. There were not present at their event because they were helping.

Five. Popular pots managed to overshadow the lack of food in the shelters. Neighbors came out of their houses to share dinner and lunch.

These stories portray humankind; empathy and support among people is something to highlight. To condemn is the absurd, egocentric, arrogance behavior of current president of Bolivia! Who on 3/5/14 was in Venezuela for the Chavez ceremony… while his country-citizens are in need! The fact of not declaring a national disaster zone just for electoral and resented behavior is unacceptable.

Current government, had declared in eight occasions a disaster:

March 2007 – flooding in many regions of the country.

February 2008 – flooding in Beni affecting 5,000 families.

July 2009 – mining pollution un Huanuni river, Oruro.

October 2010 – drought in Beni.

February 2011 – rains in 6 departments.

June 2011 – Low Pilcomayo river flow.

February 2012 – Overflow of the rivers in Sipe Sipe municipality.

February 2012 – Flooingf affecting 9,273 families in Pando.

Current flooding in Beni is affecting over sixty thousand people, hundreds of cattle have perished and the economy of Beni is in serious peril!

If you, dear reader, try to understand the behavior of current Bolivian ruling ochlocracy… don’t, no one can understand this absurd behavior!!!

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