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DOMINICA HURRICANE MARIA RELIEF
Thursday 12th October 2017

Greetings from Dominica,

To all of our friends, family, past and future clients and guests, those who know us, and those who have yet to meet us~

It is with heavy hearts and minds that we write to you this day. As you probably already know, Dominica was hit hard by the Category 5 Hurricane Maria.  She destroyed the island; and anyone living on the island has been heavily impacted by her force. Most homes are missing roofs at the very least. We ourselves lost roofs on both Cocoa Cottages and Extreme Dominica buildings. All furnishings and equipment that remain, are wet and impossible to dry out due to the continuing rains and lack of materials to begin rebuilding as of yet.  Most roads were covered by fallen trees or by landslides. 

This storm spared NO ONE, and NOTHING stood in its way. Small streams became raging rivers, waterfalls became landslides. You would not recognise the landscape. The rain-forest is no longer a forest, but instead a grim land of defoliated trees. Palm trees that remain are spires rising up leafless to the sun. We wonder where the Jaco and the Sisserou went. The heat is unbearable without the shade of the rain-forest.

All of that said, Iris, Liz and Richard, as well as Frida and Pink are all ok. We were all there and we all survived.  All of our employees have been accounted for and we are doing all that we can to assist them and their families.  We ourselves, Liz and Richard, are now in Guadeloupe organising relief efforts. Richard is a pilot and knows a lot of other pilots in St. Francois, Guadeloupe.  Everyone is working around the clock to get relief to the island.  We've been here for one week and have already sent 10 plane loads of food and supplies into Dominica, totalling around 5,000 pounds.  We’ve sent a donated generator for the ham (amateur radio) operators, so that they can continue to assist people all over the island with evacuations and medical needs.  We’ve sent spear guns for the Kalinago Chief.  We’ve sent seeds all over so that everyone can start re-planting. There will be no fruits and vegetables for a long time to come. Hard to imagine, as this was one of the most unique things about living in Dominica. We’ve sent chainsaws so people can start clearing their fallen trees. We’re also sending daily flights of food and basic needs supplies. In short, we’re flying as fast as we can purchase the goods. One challenge here is that many supplies have gone to St. Martin for the relief efforts since Irma struck them.

Iris has decided to stay on the island. She will begin traveling around to meet other survivors, connect, listen to their stories, and write a book.  She is ok.  She has a dry room at Cocoa and a family from Wotten Waven that lost their entire home is staying with her in another dry room. They are helping each other and doing their best to help others as well.  

We have set up a crowdfunding site to help us pay for the expenses for the relief.  This is not yet a rebuilding effort, but a RELIEF EFFORT.  People still need food and water and basic supplies.  We have to pay for plane rentals, fuel, pilots, the supplies and food itself, etc.  We’ve taken on a lot, but we need all the help we can get.  If you have the time and want to help in some way, here is the link to the site we’ve set up.

As of today, we’ve spent almost all of what we’ve raised already. We would love to continue helping, but can’t do it alone. If you have already seen the site and have already donated, we send a HUGE THANK YOU.  Everyone thanks you. Dominicans are a resilient people, determined and not easily defeated. 

We remain hopeful for its recovery.  

Thank you for listening and for your support during this very challenging time.  

Kindest regards~

Liz and Richard
www.cocoacottages.com
+1 (310) 600-5274  USA cell/WhatsApp, Liz & Richard
+1 (767) 276-2920  DOM cell/WhatsApp, Iris


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NAME: Richard Metawi
TEL: +1 (767) 448-0412
EMAIL: cocoacottage@gmail.com
ADDRESS: Roseau Valley, Dominica
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