Support Salgar

On May 18, 2015 at 3 a.m., peacefully sleeping families in Salgar, a municipality of 18,000 campesinos (peasant farmers) in southwestern Colombia's mountainous Department of Antioquia, were awakened by a loud roar and neighbors screaming, "The river! The river!" The Libordiana River running past their homes was flooding, bringing with it a ravaging mudslide that utterly devastated their lives. Bridges and homes were plunged into the neighboring ravine, a primary school was buried in mud, the city's aqueduct was destroyed and of the homes left standing, 126 were heavily damaged. Santa Margarita, smallest of the four towns that make up Salgar, was nearly completely obliterated.

At least 80 people were killed and more than 40 were injured. Children were left without parents and entire families devastated. The UN reported in May that a total of 782 people were affected, with 107 of the 1,000 initially evacuated still in three quickly-built shelters and at least 675 others still staying in the homes of family and friends.

Salgar is now facing further difficulties, as October through December brings the next round of heavy rains. The government is slowly helping to rebuild homes, but these survivors are mostly without assistance when it comes to replacing bedding, clothing and toys for their children, furnishings and other basic necessities.

In late August, PharmaCielo Foundation directors and their families visited Salgar and felt immediately compelled to help when they were warmly welcomed by this industrious but hard-hit campesino community.

PharmaCielo Foundation's Support Salgar campaign will have shipping containers of in-kind donations, which will be collected in Toronto, delivered directly to the residents. Suggested items include:

  • Toys, balls and sporting equipment
  • Baby equipment – cribs, clothing, baby blankets
  • Adolescent-sized shoes, warm-weather clothing
  • Kitchen/household items
  • Linens/blankets
  • Christmas decorations

As President Santos said in May, "Nobody can bring back the dead... but we have to handle this disaster as best we can to move forward." We who have much can assist these children and their families, many of whom had little to begin with, to move forward. Please take a moment right now to consider what you can share. Contact us at donate@salgarrelief.org for more details and to make donation arrangements.