baachan to miruku mo inochi mo wakeatte
minna no kibou tsunageshi kimi yo
the baby shares her milk with her grandmother
and weaves together our hopes of the future
Dear friend of Puente:
Words cannot even begin to describe the physical and emotional devastation caused by the earthquake and subsequent Tsunami that struck our friends and neighbors in Japan on March 11, 2011. Our hearts go out to those in Japan as they continue to cope with not only rebuilding their lives and communities, but wait to understand how the nuclear power disaster there affects water, food and health, perhaps for generations to come. Our hearts go out, too, to our friends in Southern Oregon, Crescent City and Santa Cruz and those living in other coastal harbors where large waves have destroyed docks and boats that serve as home for many that rely on fishing for their livelihood.
Throughout Northern California, tsunami warnings and watches were sounded, and many Coastsiders fled to higher ground. Puente's youth and adult staff were on the frontlines of the South Coast response.
Many of Puente's bilingual adult and youth staff have been trained as Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members. They worked with the Office of Emergency Preparedness and American Red Cross personnel to operate the emergency shelter at Pescadero High School, evacuated farmworkers from the South Coast, called local residents, helped staff the local radio station.
Fortunately, everyone was safe and many lessons were learned for the future. Among them, was that our community needs to strengthen its emergency communications.
If you live in the South Coast communities of La Honda, Pescadero, Loma Mar and San Gregorio, I'd like to encourage you to hit reply to this email and send me your name, email and phone number so that Puente can incorporate you into an emergency call list. I promise that this information will only be used for that purpose. Or, follow us through twitter or the rss feed on our home page.
And finally, if you'd like to help with a financial contribution, here are some groups to consider for Tsunami relief:
Peace Development Fund (for Japan)
Wild Rivers Community Foundation (for Crescent City)
American Red Cross
Kerry Lobel, Executive Director
P.S. Puente's friends, Alan and Taku, were kind enough to find and translate several Haiku poems thave have been written since the devastation. Click here to read the poems.
Puente youth staff are members of Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)