In October of 1998, Hurricane Mitch struck much of Central America, causing widespread devastation, suffering and death. In the aftermath of Mitch – the deadliest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded – at least 10,000 people were dead, more than 13,000 were missing and over one million were left homeless.
Nicaragua was particularly hard hit by severe flooding and mudslides which destroyed thousands of homes and displaced some 14,000 families as a result.
Initially, San Felipe Humanitarian Alliance went to work assisting local and international relief organizations in Posoltega, one of the hardest hit areas in the country. Due to the tremendous devastation, Posoltega was also where most local and international humanitarian organizations were dedicating their services.
After a few days, the decision was made to move on to Neuva Vida, a refugee camp in acute need of assistance that was virtually being ignored by the Nicaraguan government and the international aid community.