From the Worldwide Faith News archives

ELCA Helps Millions Affected by Floods in Chiapas

From NEWS <>
Date 16 Oct 1998 13:23:34


October 16, 1998


     CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Torrential rains caused heavy flooding in four of
nine regions of Chiapas, Mexico, last month.  "As many as 1.5 million
people have lost homes, crops, land, livestock, clothes and whatever
possessions they might have had," said the Rev. Y. Franklin Ishida,
international communication director for the Division for Global Mission of
the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
     "The majority of the people affected are those who were already
living in extreme poverty and struggling to survive," said Ishida.  "This
disaster has left their homes buried, and whatever means they had of making
a living have now been destroyed."
     Ishida said water sewage systems have been seriously damaged,
resulting in outbreaks of intestinal, respiratory and skin infections.
     Chiapas, Mexico's southernmost state, includes 5,000 communities in
22 different municipalities.  In Montozintla, located within the La
Frailesca region, 1,200 homes were buried by mud slides.
     The Mexican Association for Rural and Urban Transformation (AMEXTRA),
a companion institution with the ELCA, is working in Montozintla to provide
food, water, clothing, emergency supplies and medical attention.
     "The ELCA provided $5,000 to assist AMEXTRA working in Montozintla,"
said Ishida.  "About 4,500 people from 750 families will benefit from this
assistance.  There are no other forms of relief being offered to the people
of Montozintla."
     AMEXTRA is an organization made up of 2,202 families seeking to
identify and address the causes and effects of poverty and marginalization
in both rural and urban communities of Mexico.  It was founded in 1984.

For information contact:
Frank Imhoff, Assoc. Director (773) 380-2955 or NEWS@ELCA.ORG

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