Sunday, June 08, 2008

Hope Creek

There should be an expression, "Up Hope's Creek." That's what it felt like when I visited the village of Hope Creek, in the South of Belize, with 13 Productions on a documentary film assignment.

We spoke with Mr. Senteno, a villager who had lived in Hope Creek for so long that he named the place (for a bridge that ran across the creek to the back of the town.) He showed us the water marks up to the tops of the windows of his store.

The rainfall came from the hills, that's why it flooded, they said. The water rose to human-sized heights within the space of five minutes. Everybody slept through the rain. Sometimes it rained for 4, 5 days. but it never flooded like this. Environmental advocates are saying that the sudden weather patterns are directly connected to Global Warming trends in the region, trends that will have devastating effects on the bioystem, including the rainforest, access to potable water, and marine wildlife in the Coral Reef.

Much of the village was completely destroyed, and environmentalists are now clamoring about the dangers of reforestation and the inevitable effect of global warming on both coastal and inland areas. But as Red Cross volunteer Larry Silver showed us a pump connected to a generator that, on its own, generated enough clean potable water for the whole community to wash their clothes, I could feel, incredibly, that there was still hope.


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