[Update – Tuesday, Nov. 17: At 5:05 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Nov. 17, a separate hurricane, Hurricane Iota, made landfall as a category 4 storm just 15 miles south of where Hurricane Eta made landfall in Nicaragua two weeks ago. The United States National Hurricane Center has warned of “catastrophic winds, life-threatening storm surge, and torrential rainfall” while predicting increased landslides and flooding throughout parts of Central America.]
[Update – Monday, Nov. 16: Multiple new fundraising initiatives have been added to the list below.]
Coffee-growing communities in parts of Central America and Mexico have been torn apart by flooding and landslides caused by Hurricane Eta, which has resulted in at least 157 people dead and hundreds of thousands more displaced.
Eta made slow-moving landfall in Northeastern Nicaragua on Tuesday, Nov. 3, causing excessive winds and prolonged excessive rains to most of Central America and Mexico that led to widespread flash-flooding, landslides, and mudslides.
The extent of the damage wrought by the hurricane may not be known for months or years, but the worst of it appears to have affected Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua, according to reports from international relief agencies.
Hurricane Eta is part of the worst Atlantic hurricane season in recorded history, and the worst since Hurricane Mitch in 1998. It also comes with the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has raged on throughout the hurricane-affected areas, and international relief agencies expect the hurricane will result in increased food insecurity, increases in vector-borne illnesses, increased COVID-19 transmissions and billions of dollars of economic damage.
The seasonal coffee harvest in all of the coffeelands affected by the storm were largely underway soon-to-be underway. Local and federal agencies, NGOs and private companies in and around the coffee sector have been expressing their heartbreak for coffee communities affected by the deluge, while also attempting to identify damage and mobilize response efforts.
Below DCN has organized a short list of fundraising efforts currently underway to assist some of the communities most deeply affected by Hurricane Eta. We have attempted to focus this list through the lens of coffee, although we realize the damage wreaked by this hurricane knows no bounds.
We have identified two main types of donation opportunities: individually organized crowdfunding efforts; and efforts from coffee-adjacent nonprofits that have pledged Eta-related support.
Please note that DCN does not have the ability to investigate or verify the money trail that will ultimately be left by each of these campaigns, nor do we endorse any specific initiative or organization found below:
Specific cooperative or local fundraising efforts
Immediate Action Needed for Hurricane ETA Relief by Katia L. Duke
Leftsideview Hurricane ETA Relief Fund by German Mejia
Hurricane Eta Relief for Samac Cooperative by Heidi McKinnon
Helping Alta Verapaz affected by hurricane Eta by Milly and Kevin Ledwith
Honduran Coffee Farmer Relief – Hurricane Eta, by Finca Terrerito and Alejandra Lopez
Help for the Farmers of Los Altos de Ocotal by Christa Sadler
Hurricane Eta relief in Guatemala by Onyx Coffee
Honduran Coffee Farmer Relief – Hurricane Eta, by Finca Terrerito
Help Nicaraguan Women Replant After Hurricane ETA by Matt Earley
Sustainable Harvest ETA Hurricane Relief Fund
Hurricane Emergency Aid for Nicaraguan Farmers by Thaleon Tremain
Cooperative Coffees Hurricane Relief Fund
Food 4 Farmers: Hurricane Eta Takes a Heavy Toll
CRS: Hurricane Eta Batters Central America
Lutheran World Relief Hurricane Eta Rush Aid Now
The Coffee Trust: Urgent Update on Hurricane Eta
If you are aware of other legitimate initiatives to help pick up the pieces left by Hurricane Eta in the coffeelands, please feel free to share in the comments below, or contact us through the form below using the subject line “Eta relief.”
This is an ongoing story, and we hope to update this post as more information comes in.
Nick Brown is the editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine.