Elsa Marina Amaya was just a child when her entire village of Waller Bordo, Honduras, was destroyed by Hurricane Mitch in 1998. The destruction was so complete that everyone carried their few remaining belongings across the river to rebuild the village on higher ground.
Today Elsa is 30, and she has three young daughters of her own — ages 9, 3 and 6 months. When back-to-back storms Eta and Iota swept through her village last fall, they brought a level of devastation that Elsa and her neighbors had hoped they'd never see again.
Even before the storms hit less than two weeks apart in November 2020, Elsa was struggling to make ends meet. In the past, she has provided for her family by working as a cook. But when COVID-19 reached Central America last spring, all the kitchens closed and her income dried up. By the time Eta and Iota arrived, Elsa had been unable to find work for months so she could feed herself and her children.