San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, November 9, 2017 - Raise Me Up (NGO, Belize) would like to thank the amazing community of San Pedro Town and its supporters for all of the amazing contributions to the rebuild of the San Mateo subdivision of Ambergris Caye after the devastation caused by Hurricane Earl through the San Mateo Rebuild Project.
Hurricane Earl’s storm system brought 9-12 inches of rain, causing surges and flooding throughout Belize. On the night of August 3, 2016, Hurricane Earl made landfall on Ambergris Caye, displacing hundreds of individuals and devastating many docks and businesses along the island’s coast. Among the damage caused by the hurricane, San Mateo was one of the most affected areas of the island.
San Mateo is a subdivision that is the home to many underprivileged and disadvantaged families. Lacking in proper city infrastructure, many of the homes in San Mateo were built hastily to provide simple establishments for the families that occupy them. The subdivisions on Ambergris Caye, San Mateo had 52 homes heavily damaged or completely demolished by the hurricane.
Starting immediately after the storm, David Jenkins, (co-proprietor of Sandbar Beachfront Hostel & Restaurant) Brittney O’Daniel (co-proprietor of Sandbar Beachfront Hostel & Restaurant / Raise Me Up Board Member / Lions Club Vice President), and Timrose Augustin (National Emergency Management Organization) headed up the San Mateo Rebuild Project. Through the efforts of the community, many benefactors locked arms and donated their time, efforts, materials and money for materials to help rebuild San Mateo. The project was managed and coordinated by David Jenkins with assistance from Steve Jacobson. All funds for the project were collected and distributed by local NGO Raise Me Up.
Raise me up wants to give a very special thanks to Robin Doeden for heading up collection efforts from the United States for a total of $4,100. Her benefactors include herself, Bob & Carolyn Doeden, Dan & Jody Wichman, John Pues, St. John's Youth Group, LeeAnn Atwood, Peggie Wells, Ron & Catherine Nunes, and Tamara Lyons.
Steve Jacobson, owner of Lola’s Pub in San Pedro Town, donated over $5,000 for the purchase of lumber, and organized the transport of the materials from Belize City and Cayo District. Mahogany Bay donated $4,000, along with skilled craftsmen and contractors for the duration of the rebuild project.
Dari Bartz visited from the Corozal District of Belize, donated $1,000 and physically helped with the rebuild for 2 days. After her return to Corozal, she donated an additional $4,000.
San Pedro Town Council provided a donation of $5,000 via Atlantic Bank, and provided trucks for delivery and transport of building materials throughout San Mateo.Atlantic Bank, International donated $3,000 for the purchase of building materials. Seaside Realty and Banyan Bay Suites each donated $1,000 towards the purchase of building materials. Caribbean Depot provided the transport of materials from Belize City to Ambergris Caye.
Miss San Pedro High, Faith Peterson, with the support of Lori Rusk, donated $8,000 to help with the final two homes, helping reach the goal to complete the San Mateo Rebuild Project.
The following businesses and individuals also donated funds for the purchase of building materials: The Truck Stop, Sandbar Beachfront Hostel & Restaurant, Nook Restaurant & Cocktail Bartique, Fido’s Restaurant & Bar, Ronnie & Lisa Cyrier (Dooley Bear Adventures), Camp Belize (Jerry Jeff Walker friends and family), Denise Post, Summer Knuth & friends, John Lacy, Crazy Canucks’ Crab Races, Grant Ice, Lester Castro, and the dozens of anonymous donors and benefactors.
The San Mateo Rebuild Project would not have been possible without the assistance of the dozens of volunteers who dedicated their time to help with the assistance of rebuilding homes. These volunteers include: Victoria House for providing volunteers, Vic Murphy for the countless hours of hard work on the roofs, Jeff Parker, Ronnie Cyrier, Ed Sparks, Ben Sept, Pete Davis, Trevor Del Valle, Projects Abroad, Arcadia University, Cesar Gonzales, Dari Bartz, Kaitlin McWhorter (Sancas Realty), Brittney O’Daniel, and special thanks to Bill Graham for traveling from Cayo and staying in San Pedro Town for weeks; Graham’s expertise in home building made a difference to the completion deadlines for the entirety of the project.
NEMO and Belize Red Cross members conducted assessments of all the homes in need of repair. Raise Me Up thanks them for their assistance and time. Austin Pierce of Paradise Theater provided a container for the San Mateo Rebuild Project, to store all building materials as they were utilized to complete the builds.
A special thanks to San Pedro Fire Chief Lennon Newton for his assistance in San Mateo.
The following business have provided meals for the volunteer staff: Sandbar Restaurant & Bar, Brooklyn Bagels, and Nook Restaurant.
The San Pedro Sun and Ambergris Today have helped spread awareness regarding the San Mateo Rebuild Project.
At the completion of the San Mateo Rebuild Project: 4 complete houses were completed: Humberto Garcia, Shirley Martinez, Louise Young and Mario Chamillo. Partial rebuilds (new roof and/or walls) were provided for 12 homes, and an additional 36 homes were given plywood and zinc and instructions for how to manage their own repairs.
NEMO provided mattresses for all of the homes within the San Mateo Rebuild Project, the San Pedro Lions Club opened their doors to provide clothing immediately following the hurricane, and the San Pedro Food Bank provided food assistance during and immediately after the hurricane.
Raise Me Up is a non-profit organization committed to eliminating inadequate living conditions by fulfilling basic needs of underprivileged communities within Belize. We do so by raising awareness and funds locally and internationally, while providing complete transparency and recognition to all benefactors.
Raise Me Up cannot express enough gratitude the San Pedro community, for the dedication and countless hours of support for this project. It could not have been completed without every one’s support.
For more information on Raise Me Up visit: www.raisemeupbelize.org