Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Caniculas or chubascos

Honduran Spanish can be quite colorful and specific.

We are in the rainy season here - winter, we call it - and its been raining much more than and with greater force than I remember. There are lots of chubascos, intense torrential rains, almost ever afternoon or evening.

Some farmers are experiencing problems. One of the seminarians visiting told me how the coffee field of a friend is in danger of being washed down the hillside, because of the intense rains that have soaked the earth.

The road up to Dolores
As a result the roads are worse. My street is a disaster, with some trenches in the middle of the street almost 8 inches deep. The roads in the countryside are even worse in spots, especially since there have not been a lot of intensely hot days to dry out the roads. There are foot deep ruts in some places.

But the real problems on the country roads are landslides and destruction of bridges. At one point the road from the international highway into Dulce Nombre  is only a car wide, because of the mudslide. As I mentioned in a previous post, a bridge near Cementera, Lepaera, Lempira was washed out. I also recently heard that the foot bridge (and perhaps the waterline) into another rural community have been destroyed by the rains.

But not only are the roads affected. Visiting Dolores, Copán, on Tuesday, I got to see the damage the rain did in the church. Last Thursday a portion of one of the walls fell off - leaving the adobe exposed and destroyed the inside roof for a storage room inside the church. The rain had penetrated the walls and the adobe is in a precarious state. Repair work will need to be done quickly.

But much of this work is hard to do during the rainy season. But July 15 to August 15 is supposed to be a time of a canicula, a month with little rain. But that's not the experience this year.

Some people blame  La Niña; others invoke the problem of global climate change.

Whatever the cause, the poor suffer more and what little they have is in greater danger.

Inside the Dolores Church
Some of the damage from the falling wall
 But still they seek to go forward. The community in Dolores, in the expectation to be able to have the Eucharist reserved in a tabernacle in their church, have built a new altar and ambo and fixed their retablo.

Renovations in the church in Dolores, Copán.

1 comment:

John (Juan) Donaghy said...

Today, May 30, 2012, I got a new definition of chubasco. A friend described the all day rains that we have here between September and December as chubascos, noting that they are usually torrential rains.