Dominica-Hurricane Maria Relief

Roseau, Saint George Parish, Dominica
Organizer: Liz Chiz
Dominica-Hurricane Maria Relief (DOMINICA)
of $75,000 goal
94% Complete
Raised by 376 donors

The Story

Liz and Richard evacuated safely to Guadeloupe 5 days after the storm.  Iris decided to stay, to keep an eye on things.  We are organizing relief flights with food and essential supplies daily.  Richard and several other pilots are flying, including our friend from Dominica, Robby Beyer, who we evacuated once we made contact with him and flew him to his plane in Martinique so he could help us.   We started flying supplies into Dominica on September 24, 2 days after we got to Guadeloupe.  We've now flown in over 25 airplane loads, about 15,000 pounds so far, as of today, October 12th.  

We have to pay for rental of aircraft, extra pilots, fuel, landing fees, plus supplies.  Supplies consist of:  food, water, first aid, tarps, batteries, flashlights, matches, seeds for planting, feminine hygiene, baby supplies, adult diapers, rat poison, mosquito repellent, work gloves, blow-up mattresses, car chargers for charging cell phones, solar chargers, solar lights, candles, garbage bags, duct tape, chain-saws, a generator for the ham radio operators, spear guns for the Kalinago Chief, and so much more.  

We are also evacuating people (and animals) off the island as we are allowed to, and as we are able. 

Please help us to help the people of Dominica.  We are taking care of our employees, guides, airport workers, and many others in need.  

HUGE thank you to all on the ground at the Aerodrome de St. Francois, especially the master mechanic Pierre Dubois, and of course all of the pilots helping us. 

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on February 13, 2018

Posted on February 13, 2018

Happy to report that electric has been successfully restored at Cocoa Cottages. All roofs restored as well. Things are getting greener by the day. I will be meeting Richard in Miami this coming Saturday, Feb. 17th to organize another shipment of supplies to go down. This will be mainly building supplies, a new washer for Cocoa, and some school uniforms. We will also be buying more things once we’re there and see how much room we have in the container.     

We’ve recently updated the Cocoa Cottage website. Check it out to see how we’re operating now. Slightly different model going forward.   

Again, we thank you so much for your help during this difficult time. We could not have done it without your support. Insurance still has not paid us!! But…..we are not alone, and we will survive. Onward.   

Posted on January 18, 2018

Posted on January 18, 2018

An update from our Tourism Minister, Colin Piper:

"The Ministry of Tourism and Division of Forestry continue to get sites and information centers ready for visitors. The following sites are open for tours – Indian River, Cana Heritage Park, Syndicate Nature Trail, Kalinago Barana Aute, Morne Bruce, Botanic Gardens, Mero Beach, Boiling Lake and Jaco Falls.  Of course we strongly encourage calling ahead to confirm and to utilize tour guides. Work is ongoing to get the visitor information centres at all sites repaired to welcome visitors.  

The cruise season which officially opened on Dec 28 with the Sea Cloud is expected to welcome the TUI Meinshiff with a capacity of 2114 passengers on January 28, 2018. 

While not officially reopened, the following sites are accessible – Cabrits National Park, Cold Soufriere, Emerald Pool, Trafalgar Falls, Freshwater Lake, Titou Gorge, Middleham Falls, Toucarie Beach, Batibou Beach, Wotten Waven Sulphur Spring and Spanny Falls.  

We are convinced that we can work together with all tourism stakeholders to rebuild Dominica’s tourism sector even better than before.  We do look forward to your continued support. Please continue to access  for updated information on the rebuilding of the tourism sector."

Posted on January 16, 2018


Posted on January 16, 2018

Hello, and a belated Happy New Year. We are happy to say goodbye to 2017 (What a doozy!!), and hope that 2018 will bring some much needed better luck for everyone.  Many of you have probably been wondering what happened to us, or what's happened in Dominica since our last update.  

Richard arrived Dominica last Tuesday to begin the rebuilding process.  I'm staying in WA state for now.  While things on the island have improved, it is far from being back on its feet.  Most main roads are passable, but with many steep drop-offs on the sides due to the erosion.  The green is returning quickly, as we all knew it would.  Trails are being improved.  The hydro-electric is being restored at the Trafalgar station.  There are a few businesses open, but not all.  Some have closed their doors temporarily, others for good.  Some building supplies are available, but only the basics.  There are no roofing screws and no hurricane straps, etc.  So……I'll be meeting Richard in Florida in a couple of weeks to organize another shipment down, mainly of building materials.  At some point, I will probably join him in Dominica as well.  

Richard has also told me that the children have nothing at all to keep their minds occupied.  As there is still no electric in most places, this means no tv and no internet.  But they also have no books to read, no coloring books, toys, etc.  I’ll start sourcing these things to put into a shipment from FL.  The good news is that all villages, except for Trafalgar, have reopened their primary schools.  Trafalgar hopes to open soon, as soon as they find housing for the family that has sheltered there since the storm.   

Cocoa Cottage, along with many others, still has no electric, but we hope for that to be restored this month.  They are working above and below us; and just this past week Trafalgar Village got it’s electric restored.  Water just got restored in our area this past week.  Iris did a great job cleaning up and getting things ready for the rebuild.  Some of the rooms, as well as the Treehouse, at Cocoa are liveable.  There is still a family from Wotten Waven there, as well as a Spanish man doing work for UNICEF.  The entire upstairs (Master Suite and Kako Room) has to be rebuilt, and electric has to be redone throughout all buildings.  The Extreme Dominica building has a brand new roof already and Richard is restoring electric there right now. 

So, we are moving in a forward direction.  Sometimes, that's all we can do….. and it’s enough.  We wish you all the very best in 2018, and hope to cross paths again one day.  We also send our heartfelt thanks again for all the support and donations.  We will continue to do good things with the funds that remain.  

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