In February, days of torrential rain flooded the village, bringing a river of mud and cutting off 50 homes, where 200 people live. In March, volunteers visited the village, to survey what kind of assistance the people needed; it was an arduous, three-hour journey from Santa Cruz, over poor and bumpy roads. Because of its remote location, the village is largely cut off from the world. So the residents were delighted to see these visitors, who promised to return with the aid they wanted. The return visit in April was to deliver the aid. They brought two tons and distributed it in packages of 18, 27 or 35 kilograms, each containing both food and drugs.
It was a warm, sunny day; the residents queued up in orderly lines to receive these necessities they badly needed. It was a day also to exchange warmth and love -- to show the people of Carmen they are not alone in facing their hardships and that the Tzu Chi volunteers bring them spiritual as well as material help, a sense of hope.
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