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Aug 7, 2018

Hope Haven Brings Hope to Boca del Rio

Help continues to be rendered to victims of a fire in San Pedro that has left almost ninety persons homeless over the weekend.  At the forefront of the civilian effort is Hope Haven, a children’s shelter that has since been transformed into a hub for the collection of food items, as well as clothing and other necessities.  It’s a big task for a small organization, but with assistance from many San Pedro residents who empathize with the fire victims, the effort has been successful.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano has that story.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

In the aftermath of arguably the most destructive arson in San Pedro’s history, the outpouring of humanitarian aid has been overwhelming.  Led by an initiative that was undertaken on the morning after the massive fire, Hope Haven, along with dozens of fellow San Pedranos, has reached been assisting the displaced families.  Joanna Bennett, along with eighteen other relatives, lost everything to the blaze.

 

Joanna Bennett, Fire Victim

Joanna Bennett

“Thanks to Hope Haven we have lots of help because we have food three times for the day, for breakfast, then we had dinner and then we had lunch here, three times for the day.  And right now, just now, we had Super Buy giving us some groceries too, then we went to look for that.  Everything is fine by now.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“How do you plan to rebuild, where do you start over in terms of either finding a new place to start building?  What happens next for you and your family?”

 

Joanna Bennett

“Well, in that occasion, this lady Miss Priss, she gave us two rooms and the nineteen of us.  The whole family is in those two rooms, we only have two beds and they don’t have no mattresses.  We all are cramming over there but we’re fine.  After that, well we’re planning, supposedly they say that government will give some materials, so we’re planning to construct a next small house, bring our family back again and start over again.”

 

Among the many who have been left without a roof over there heads is Rene Castellanos and his family.

 

Rene Castellanos

Rene Castellanos, Fire Victim

“Everything I lose and well, we di get help right ya and we di get three meals a day and dehn done help we with some groceries and we di wait fu wahn lee help weh wahn come from Belize, as weh dehn seh, but I noh know when that when be.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“How difficult has it been for you and your family to cope in the aftermath of this fire?”

 

Rene Castellanos

“Well it’s difficult because it’s not like when you deh pan your own room like when you di rent, ih tight and small space and dehn ting so we di check out fu get wahn room or help fi get wahn room or something.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Are you working, is your wife working, as well?”

 

Rene Castellanos

“No, only me di work.  But right now like I have to check in with the people so right now I’m not working, but I have my work.  Yeah, I am working right now.  I have work.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“How difficult has this been for your child, I mean, to wake up one morning in the middle of a fire and not have anywhere to go or any clothes on your back, what has that been like?”

Rene Castellanos

“That is very hard because that ketch we as surprise, so we have to run and left everything da back.  The fire was blazing so hard and we have to run and leff everything da back.  We couldn’t save nothing.”

 

What they could not save is being replaced in part through altruism.  A handful of Good Samaritans came forward in the wake of the fire to give of their time, money and other resources that can assist in rebuilding the lives of the fire victims through the effort of Hope Haven.

 

Isani Cayetano reporting for News Five.

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