Fonfrède, a rural neighborhood in the city of Les Cayes; strung along the valley of La Ravine du Sud–the region’s main river–was one of the areas most affected by Hurricane Matthew. The landscape still bears the scars of the disaster.
Uprooted trees, flooded crops, and roofless homes bear witness to the violence of the storm that ripped through the country last week. Residents are trying to get their lives back to normal as best they can. Young people are attempting to fit new corrugated roofs to their homes, as children play in the street.
“The wind and rain were so strong, I’ve never seen anything like it. I thought we were going to die, that it was all over,” Inès Virgile, a mother of five says. “We didn’t know where to take shelter, so we stayed at home. When the roof of our house collapsed on top of us, we had to take shelter in a neighbor’s house. But we couldn’t stay, it was too complicated with five children, we didn’t want to be a burden on them. So we’re back now. We’ve lost our home, our crops, everything.”
As she tells her story, Inès hugs her youngest child even tighter. For her, like for other residents of Fonfrède, the hurricane is still very much present... and the future has never seemed more uncertain.