“This is the first time I have experienced a hurricane”; “I wrapped my children in plastic bags”; “We both cried alone in the hammock”: stories of marginalization in the “2 de Octubre” neighborhood.
Four hours of nightmare lived inhabitants of the irregular settlement “2 de Octubre”, in Tulum, during the passage of Hurricane Grace. Many preferred to take refuge in their stick and palm houses. They feared the water and the 95 mph gusts. But on the night of the cyclone, they were scarier to leave their few belongings in the hands of thieves.
In the tourist and party area of Tulum, only fallen trees and light poles were reported. On “October 2”, on the other hand, a dozen houses flew through the air over the tightly closed eyes of their inhabitants.
María del Carmen, 44, was one of those souls who lived through the fury of “Grace”. He decided to stay in his house made with materials from the region for fear of bandits.
“I stayed here with my husband for my belongings that I have. The things you leave behind are brought out. That’s why we don’t go out, ”he told NOVEDADES.
She relates that at 3:00 am on Thursday “Grace” began to beat her house and slowly lift the flimsy sheets of cardboard. At the most terrifying point, the door broke down and hit his head. She was unconscious from that moment with the storm soaking her body and that of her stunned husband.
“It was horrible. I started crying when I saw that he was very strong, ”he shares.
Fortunately, María del Carmen had a bad feeling before the storm and decided to shelter her children at the Ford 198 Federal Urban Elementary School. It is 20 meters from her house. Except for the bruise on his head, today his entire family can hug each other thanks to that timely decision.
“This is the first time I have experienced a hurricane”
Two houses from María del Carmen lives Blanca Nery, originally from Ocosingo, Chiapas. Hurricane experience? None. He literally went to sleep until he was awakened by the creaking of trees falling on the ceiling of his room.
“This has never happened to me, it is the first time I have experienced a hurricane,” she confesses somewhat regretfully for not having investigated a little more. And is not for less. When panic seized his body, he ran out of his house until he was in the path of hundreds of debris turned into projectiles by Hurricane “Grace”.
“Over here! Over here!” A woman shouted in the distance. Blanca Nery and Silvino, her 30-year-old husband, managed to hear, and with great difficulty, sucking mud at every step, they arrived at their neighbor’s door. There they took refuge and collapsed in tears .
“It started at three in the morning, when he listened to the reed sounder, as my wife had never seen it, he began to cry. I looked for a little place for him so that he doesn’t get hurt, ”says the young man from Chiapas.
But the worst was not over.
The house that had sheltered them a few moments ago began to rise. Suddenly, in a flash, the roof came off and disappeared into the night sky.
“Get on the floor!” Silvino yelled. The boy pushed Blanca Nery and, until he saw her lying on her stomach, began to put the nearby mats on both of them. He held her so tightly that she lost the feeling in his arms.
Nails, wood chips, broken glass, and fine grains of wood began to fall into the room. Between the four roofless walls, the projectiles began to fly in circles, like a small whirlwind or blender, whose force and materials could sand the fabric of their clothes and their own skins.
Fortunately, the mats isolated them and today both can tell their experience to NOVEDADES with only a few scrapes on their legs.
“I wrapped my children in plastic bags”
Armando, on the other hand, also did the impossible to save his children. To do this, he took an extreme measure: wrap them in plastic.
At 3:40 in the morning, the wind raised the roof of their house and everyone, crowded into a corner, saw the hurricane pass without filters, with nothing to come between “Grace” and their eyes.
“We no longer sleep at that time. We were just puckered (shrunken) ”, he shares.
A few meters from her home, Maltiria, 30, feared for her life and that of her three minor daughters, one of them a newborn.
Incredible as it may seem, she decided very early to go out into the mountains with two of her three daughters in her arms. Nothing was expected. He knew that his house was not going to hold. Thus he saved his life and those of the two girls. He hid the other newborn baby in a neighbor’s earthenware house ”.
“I have nowhere to go, I have two daughters and she is little,” he tells NOVEDADES. There are still flashes of concern in his eyes. Fortunately, he has the support of some neighbors and his family is safe and without injuries to regret.
“We both cried alone in the hammock”
The special attention of the residents of “October 2” was placed on the elderly.
Onesimo and Carmela, an elderly couple, were on the verge of death, but Hurricane “Grace” was kind to their lives
The power of the hurricane blew away the ceiling as if a professional notebook page were detached. And they had no choice but to be at the mercy of the storm and the rising water, taking their few belongings.
“It was really ugly. We both cried alone in the hammock. Here we get wet, we change clothes twice. We were lying in the hammock, but we felt that he was going to take us to us ”.
Onesimo and Carmela thank God for surviving this emergency.
Marginalization and votes
The “Quintana Roo dream” has been the main magnet for migrants in the state. Tulum’s “October 2” is one of its settlements. There that “dream” very soon becomes a “nightmare”.
Last July, 144 families were evicted from that irregular neighborhood by the authorities and this led to a temporary blockade of the Cancun-Chetumal and Tulum-Cobá highways.
Given this, the judicial eviction procedure was “frozen.”
It is estimated that in Tulum more than 10% of the inhabitants live in illegal and poverty belts. That is, about 5 thousand 600 people if we consider that the most recent census counted 46 thousand 721 inhabitants in this municipality.
Paradoxically, “October 2” borders “Aldea Zamá”, a high-value subdivision in this paradise that today woke up with a “white balance” in its tourist areas, but with the same uncertain future of its poorest inhabitants.