Hurricane Roslyn Relief Efforts in Sayulita 2022
Hurricane Roslyn was the strongest Pacific hurricane to make landfall since Patricia in 2015. Hurricane warnings were issued by the Mexican government for the coast from Colima to Sinaloa and thousands of homes were evacuated and many activities such as school were suspended. The hurricane formed on October 20 off the southwestern coast of Mexico, moving northwest parallel to the coast by October 22, it intensified into a Category 4 hurricane and it made landfall on October 23 in northern Nayarit, with 120 mph (195 km/h) winds. Around 03:30 AM in Sayulita strong wind gusts and rain began, with such intensity that some houses lost roofs. By 04:00 am many people had lost power, and the river flooded, inundating nearby houses with up to 4 feet of water and mud. Its strong current carried trees and cars to the beach.
The Tamarindal and Mangal neighborhoods were the most affected, with hundreds of people left without clothes, food, and the necessities of daily life for sleeping and cooking.
The efforts to help all the people who lost their homes to the hurricane began and Sayulita’s residents came together to support the community. Tamarindo neighborhood streets were filled with people shoveling mud out of homes, and lending a helping hand to those most in need.
Relief efforts: Fundraising
A GoFundMe campaign was started on the evening of October 23 aimed at helping a few families along the Sayulita riverbed with the following statement:
“I'm fundraising to help local low-income Sayulita families affected by Hurricane Roslyn raise money to recover after the storm. In the Tamarindo and along the river there are many families with no other resources available that need support w basic financial assistance, to buy blankets/ mattresses/furniture, building materials and funds to rent tractors to get the debris out of their yards as a result of last night's hurricane. We are focusing on helping families that have lost everything get their basic needs met. But if we meet our goals will also be able to help many families restore their existing homes and obtain basic household necessities which may have been lost in during the flooding.”
The initial goal of the campaign was $4,000 USD, within 4 hours the goal has been reached, and by 9 pm it was over $8,000 USD, by morning it was clear that the hurricane damage extended far beyond the original families the organizer had planned on helping and she raised the goal. At noon the following day the fund had reached $25,000 and so the fund organizer began reaching out to members of the community, many of whom had already been volunteering to help those affected, to create a response team. On the evening of the 25th, the fund reached $99,539 USD and the organizers paused donations in order to access and address the needs at hand.
Hurricane Relief and Clean Up
The community rallied to support clean-up efforts, such as shoveling mud out of houses and yards, ahead of the arrival of state support. A door-to-door census was carried out to identify people’s support needs. 4 donation points were set up for donors to leave essential items, including a central point at the Sayulinda Hotel to receive deliveries. On Monday 24th October a WhatsApp group was created to help organize volunteering activities, in 48 hours this had 165 participants supporting with cleaning houses and shoveling mud from yards, cooking, making deliveries, and donations of money and essential items.
An organization committee was formed on Tuesday 25th October including 10 Mexican and ex-pat community members of all ages and genders, some of whom had experience supporting local COVID relief efforts and non-profit work in Sayulita and elsewhere.
The committee was also able to connect with 2 other support efforts occurring in town, ProSayulita, which had taken on street cleaning and collecting funds to support. Ms. Tere and J Nobles also created a food train to help feed affected families and volunteers, both of these efforts continued for a week and both were supported financially by this fund.
A Facebook group was created on the 26th of October to further support volunteer organization and provide updates, this soon had over 300 members communicating in both Spanish and English. The first ten days saw intense clean-up efforts, made challenging by the fact some areas still had no water or power, by the 2nd of November the majority of clean-up was complete, and the team began directing volunteer efforts to deliveries and distribution.
Distributions: Sayulita and San Ignacio
132 mattresses and bed frames
20 emergency sleeping pads
62 washing machines
65 sheet sets
96 kitchen kits (pots, pans, silverware, glasses, utensils, etc)
additional glasses and silverware
30 boxes of plates
4 gas cylinders
16 roof laminas
Funds were also expended on:
ProSayulita street cleaning fund (trucking out mud from the affected areas)
Food Train supplies
Gas and distribution costs
Taxes, accounting costs, and fund transfers
Donations were received, inventoried, and distributed for the following items:
dispenses (food packages)
personal hygiene (toothpaste, toothbrushes, toilet paper, etc)
What we did NOT fund
Cash was not provided to victims
The fund was designed for low-income private homes, for-profit businesses were not provided support Second homes owned by non-locals and foreigners were not offered support
A special thank you to;
ProSayulita who helped manage the funds through both their legal, not-for-profit organizations in the US and Mexico, Sayulinda who served as our distribution site, and Koranay, who is currently providing a bodega as a storage site for purchased and donated items.
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1138298890158886/?ref=share