Hurricane Iota & Eta Relief

Friends of La Mariposa,

Nicaragua needs our help!

If you’ve been following any of the reports coming from Nicaragua in the past days and weeks, you know that our friends in a beautiful country we love are right now in the middle of being slammed by the second devastating category 4 hurricane within weeks (Hurricane Eta made landfall on the Nicaraguan coast November 3rd, and now Iota has just hit). Nicaragua is not a place where people have shelter built to weather this level of rain and winds, and the flooding and mudslides will be deadly for many. While we are complaining about being stuck in our homes, these people will have no homes to go back to. 

Paulette and the staff at La Mariposa would like to respond immediately to the crisis for people hardest hit on the coasts by shipping in drinking water, food, etc., and are asking for all of us to join them.

Below is an update from Paulette as of this morning (Tuesday), and an invitation (desperate plea!) to give:

Donate to the Hurricane Relief Project

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  • Respond immediately to the crisis for people hardest hit on the coasts by shipping in drinking water, food, etc.
  • Assist with ongoing relief efforts
All gifts in the USA are tax deductible. We are a 501c3 organization. Checks can be sent to: Mas Mariposas, 12955 Old Lincoln Way E, Orrville, OH 44667
Donors from the United Kingdom, please visit our Sustainability Partners page for donating information in the UK.

As I write, Hurricane Iota is wrecking terrible damage to the Atlantic coast and the gold mining triangle. There are winds of 260 mph and the intensity of the rainfall must be seen to be believed! This comes as recovery from Hurricane Eta two weeks ago has barely begun.

In La Concha at 7:00am Tuesday, we are getting high winds and heavy rainfall. We are scheduled to get our worst hit at this time tomorrow. It is scary enough here to keep us awake all night – so I can only imagine how it must be for people in Bilwi and Siuna on the Caribbean Coast.

Of course the links with climate crisis and ecological destruction go deep, but right now I think we must focus on doing all we can to alleviate immediate suffering. That is why today we are issuing an appeal for funds to buy food and potable water which we will get out there one way or another!

Please do two things to help:

  • Donate through and tell us how much you are able to give so we can spend the money IMMEDIATELY (I mean today!) on relief for those hardest hit.
  • Share this with your family and friends on Facebook/other social media platforms and ask them to give. If they have not seen footage of the damage, just scroll down my Facebook page (I will put some more up today) or do an internet search for “Hurricane Iota”.


Food Donation Program
Food Donation Program

It is painful to see a beautiful country whose people, places, culture, and language we all enjoyed and learned so much from, being devastated with so much destruction in such a short period of time. Help Mas Mariposas be a part of bringing what small level of relief we can and aid in Nicaragua’s recovery.

En la amistad y solidaridad,

(In friendship and solidarity),

Tara Steiner, Mas Mariposas Board

Friends of La Mariposa,

You are an AMAZING group of supporters!!!

Your response to this crisis came immediately, and within the first 24 hours of sending out the plea for hurricane relief, you pulled together to pour out over $30,000 in donations, and the gifts have continued to come throughout the week! You made it possible for Paulette and the team at La Mariposa to begin on day one the critical work of getting food, water, bedding, clothes, and materials for rebuilding damaged homes to the people who needed them, without worry about whether there would be enough money in the account!

We want you to know how your donations have already been used in communities who have lost the most. If you haven’t been able to follow the updates from Paulette and Asociación Tierra on Facebook, below is a day-by-day overview of the efforts that have been made so far to alleviate some of the harm caused by Iota, as described by Paulette.   

No way this house can withstand another hurricane or even a strong rainfall - we are considering how best to help in situations like this. Immediate help is one thing, long term solutions another
Who knows if and when this house will be habitable.
This was a kitchen

Thursday, November 19th

“Yesterday, with the first break from the winds and rain, we were in Palo Solo, an extremely poor barrio, situated along a high ridge and where Iota did significant damage. The road is practically destroyed by landslides, both large (some 10 meters wide) and small. Many houses suffered mudslides right next to them and so many families are terrified to be indoors. Some kitchens and latrines have been completely swept away.

Several families took refuge in the local school but there is nothing there for them – no bedding or food. So we rapidly spent the first $2000 on food and got it out to people within an hour. As the road is impassable by vehicle the men from the pueblo carried sacks of rice and beans on their backs.”

One of hundreds of landslides affecting the local crops - in this case dragon fruit which many of you know is part of the problem.
Food ready to roll just one hour after our assessment vist.
Palo Solo residents queuing for food

 Friday, November 20th

“TODAY’S ACTIVITIES – day 3 after Iota.

I am having quite a busy day – we have put together a team of about 10 people who are working up to 12 hours a day on our hurricane relief efforts.

(1) spending $5000 on basic necessities for the community of Penas Blancas where a village was flattened by a huge mudslide. 9 people were killed and about 50 families left with nothing. Requests for mosquito nets, bedding, clothing, rubber boots, water barrels, kitchen equipment. As we are working with a good local contact, we know they have food and water donated for the moment.

(2) Food for one week donated to 140 families in need in the barrio of Panama.

(3) Zinc purchased to repair 5 damaged roofs in Los Mercados.

(4) Vet visited to check over the 10 recently rescued dogs (2 of whom at least are pregnant- more dogs being abandoned than usual)

(5) Meeting with community leader from Palo Solo to discuss best way of saving the houses threatened with slipping down the hill and repairing the road as accessibility is currently impossible for necessary aid like the water tanker to get there.”

Purchases of water barrels, clothing, mattresses, rubber boots, kitchen equipment as requested by our partners in Penas Blancas where a whole village was destroyed by the mudslide.
Zinc and wood for families here in barrio Los Mercados who suffered damage to their roofs.
Roof Needing Repair

Saturday, November 21st

  “TODAY’S ACTIVITIES – DAY 4 POST IOTA – relatively easy day I hope as we are all getting a bit tired! The photos also tell the story

(1) deliver the purchases made yesterday – water barrels, clothing, mattresses, rubber boots, kitchen equipment as requested by our partners in Penas Blancas where a whole village was destroyed by the mudslide. We will probably take the stuff to Managua where our contact will collect it to take up north.

(2) Deliver the zinc and wood also purchased yesterday to the families here in barrio Los Mercados who suffered damage to their roofs.

(3) Go out with the engineer/builder we have contacted (he worked on the construction of La Mariposa) to assess the work needed to repair the road and houses in Palo Solo.

(4) Look after Chocolate – a rescued dog who had been hit by a vehicle in San Jan and cannot use either of her back legs. 

Homes in need of repair.
Meet Chocolate, one of the dogs rescued recently. Animal rescues continue even during Hurricanes!

Sunday, November 22nd

 (Hurricane relief team trying to get some rest after putting in 12 hour work days since Tuesday, to be ready for more work in the week ahead.)

“Also have a new request from a contact in Esteli for some very rural families, we are talking only accessible on foot or horse, who lost their crops in the rain. So this would be another food donation as well as beans for planting.”

If you don’t already follow La Mariposa/Asociación Tierra on Facebook, look them up and follow for more pictures and updates in the coming weeks! And keep spreading word about the good work happening and inviting people to donate at!

Our sincerest gratitude for all your generosity,

Tara, for Mas Mariposas

Help this senora survive an already horrible living situation made worse by Eta and Iota

November 24 Update: 

Helping people from barrio Los Mercados with zinc sheets. These people were affected by hurricane Iota and had damage on their roof. 8 families were benefited with this donation and we are also giving food to 112 families from this barrio this week as part of our food donation program. Thanks to Alexis, the community leader for organizing.

November 25th Food Donations

Food donation (rice, beans, and oil) to 112 families from barrio Los Mercados. We are also helping families from this barrio with zinc sheets who suffered from hurricane Iota. Next food donation for Chispa de Vida disabled children families this week. Thanks everyone for your donations and make this program going.

Food Donation Program