Photography by © Benjamin Rusnak/Food For The Poor/ZUMALost Harvest
Oct. 22, 2011 – Cacho de Oro, El Salvador – LULIA TULEN holds a small amount of salvaged corn from her family’s plot with the hopes that she can make tortillas with it for her son, GABRIEL, 5, left.
Story Summary: Torrential rains caused by a tropical depression battered Central America for 10 days, causing more than 100 deaths. In El Salvador, more than 30 people died, and 300,000 people have been affected by floods and landslides. The effects of the latest storm will be felt for months as the rain also flooded El Salvador’s bean, rice and corn crops, dietary staples in the country of 6.1 million people. This year’s rainfall destroyed 40% of the country’s crops with damage cost estimated at $650m, equal to 3% of GDP. The amount of rain recorded was the highest in 50 years. In the past, El Salvador was self-sufficient when it came to the production of staples such as beans and corn. Because of poor harvests, the country has been importing produce in recent years. With floodwaters now sitting stagnant, authorities warn of potential epidemics, such as Dengue fever, bacteria infections and influenza outbreaks.