Yelapa And Other Small Towns South Of Puerto Vallarta Devastated After Hurricane Lidia

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How can people help?

Yelapa, Boca de Tomatlan, and the rest of the the Cabo Corrientes region, were devastated in the wake of Hurricane Lidia, a Category 4 hurricane that hit the Puerto Vallarta area October 10th, 2023. How are the communities doing a week later and how can people help?

Hurricane Lidia made landfall on October 10, 2023 as a Category 4 hurricane, making it the 3rd strongest hurricane to ever hit Mexico. As I mentioned in my last article about the catastrophic tropical storm, Puerto Vallarta is still recovering from the impacts. We will be following up with updates and ways that people can help in Puerto Vallarta, but for this article we will be focusing on one of the smaller towns south of Vallarta that were hit even harder by Lidia. The communities in the area of Cabo Corrientes, El Tuito and others are still in need of a lot of help. These communities do not have the same protection of the Sierra Madre mountains that Vallarta does and a number of towns are still without electricity and water, with extra difficulty accessing the communities due to roads being obstructed by fallen trees and debris. Today we are checking in on Yelapa. Stay tuned for more articles to follow on efforts to help other areas impacted by Lidia and updates on the continued road to repair for the larger Vallarta area.

Now, let’s dive in.

For those who may be unfamiliar, the community of Yelapa was founded around 150 years ago by four families. According to villaway.com,
“Today, it remains one of the few communities on Earth that’s still owned, inhabited, and maintained by the original residents and their descendants. Only about 1,500 people call Yelapa home, and it remains unsullied. There are no roads, no cars, and no ATMs, and infrastructure is minimal. It’s like a beach community frozen in time, and that’s exactly what makes it so appealing.”

Tatiana Alexandra is well known in Yelapa for her work with Museo Yelapa (in addition to sharing information about the native community of Yelapa, the interesting relationship that has developed between the original inhabitants of the town and the immigrants who have adopted Yelapa as their home, and catalogued archeological artifacts, the museum also offers activities like art and music classes to the local children), her other projects in Yelapa pertaining to water (“Agua es Vida”), recycling and food, and now her most recent project, Terra Sana. The day after Lidia hit, Tatiana sent me some photos and videos of the destruction in Yelapa, saying,
“It hit very hard in Yelapa and Boca…“

I checked in with Tatiana again on Wednesday, October 18 — one week and one day after Lidia made landfall. She shared,
“Basically, we’re still without light (electricity). They think we may be up to three weeks without light. And we don’t have running water…right now the main thing that I’m helping get donations for is to fix the water system, the water pipes that are damaged…the pieces that are broken, so that everyone can have water. They can donate through PayPal: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you are in Mexico, you can also make a donation for getting Yelapa’s water system fixed by making a deposit in this account:
Museo de Yelapa A.C.
Club Bancaria - Inbursa: 4004 4305 0019 5869

I asked Tatiana if Yelapa receives any assistance from the government relating to water or if they manage all of that on their own, she shared that
“We want to get water rights for the town…so that we’re protected and no companies can come from outside and try to privatize the water. We’re trying to form a more formal committee, but there’s still a lot to be done…it’s a giant, giant project, but it’s obviously worth it because agua es vida (water is life).”

More stories to come following the progress and needs in Yelapa, the other small towns in Cabo Corrientes as well as Puerto Vallarta. We are deeply grateful for the support of our local and international communities at this time.

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