When 85-year-old Don Andrés Rodríguez Rodríguez described the place where he grew up, he answered without hesitation.
“Perfect, my community is perfect,” he said.
Rodriguez lives about 3,000 feet above sea level in Bauta Abajo, Puerto Rico, one of the island’s rural mountain communities, where the sky and clouds can seem close enough to touch.
But since Hurricane María devastated Puerto Rico last September, conditions in his neighborhood have been far from perfect.
An attack on the Syrian town of Douma Saturday killed more than 40 people and injured hundreds, many of them women and children.
Survivors flooded nearby hospitals bearing symptoms consistent with chemical gas exposure, according to the American Relief Coalition for Syria.
Emergency medical supplies from Direct Relief are already en route to Syria Relief and Development, a humanitarian group helping care for the thousands fleeing escalating violence in Douma and the broader region of Eastern Ghouta.
Cholera originated in Asia, but now presents a global threat.
This acute intestinal disease is biologically caused by exposure to the vibrio cholerae bacteria, but it’s fed socially by poor water and sanitation, limited health systems, crowding and poverty. With all these conditions present in abundance across the African continent, cholera outbreaks happen most frequently there relative to all other parts of the world. This leads in many cases to high numbers of deaths, high costs to health systems and regular social disruption.
By Dan Hovey
After driving six hours due west from Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital city, weaving along the heavily trafficked Prithvi Highway, a coursing corridor that cuts through the country’s center, we pulled off onto a narrow dirt road and quickly gained elevation, escaping the thick smog that fills the valley below.
After another hour-and-a-half climb up the steep mountainsides of Nepal’s middle hill region, the eroded road brought us to the terraced fields that encompass the small farming village of Seratar.
This coming week, the world will remember how tragedy struck Puerto Rico six months ago.
Hurricane Maria churned a devastating path through the Caribbean last September. The Category 4 storm brought sustained winds of 175 miles per hour, destroying homes, mangling power lines and severing communications throughout Puerto Rico.
As images began to emerge, they revealed the destruction left in Maria’s wake, signaling the protracted recovery to come.