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Entrepreneurial Women in Seaside Villages Reclaim Lives, Rebuild Livelihoods in Chile
More than a year after the earthquake and tsunami in Chile, nongovernmental organizations have made the switch from emergency relief to reconstruction. While government projects are still delayed, women in seaside villages are taking the lead in rebuilding their communities one strand of seaweed at a time.

ENTE DE MAR, CHILE – Elizabeth Ramirez, 38, and her neighbors earn a meager living gathering and harvesting seaweed in Gente de Mar, or “People of the Sea,” an enclave of 30 fishing families in Penco, a city in southern Chile. Families have refused to leave their homes despite the damages from last year’s earthquake and tsunami.

Along the shoreline here, partially repaired houses share the beach with a few wooden dinghies and a carpet of soggy seaweed. Ramirez says that frequent rain has caused the seaweed she recently harvested to rot.

Ramirez and her neighbors sell their seaweed crops to a local agent who ships them to Japan. But after the March earthquake in Japan, demand has withered.

“The police came to tell us that the ola japonesa [Japanese wave] was on its way and to leave our homes,” she says. 

She says the waters washed across the beach and up to her door. But the sea pulled back, and, undeterred, women ventured out to the rocks to hunt for shellfish.

Read more: http://www.globalpressinstitute.org/global-news/americas/chile/entrepreneurial-women-seaside-villages-reclaim-lives-rebuild-livelihoods-#ixzz1QfzQ1D9p

Entrepreneurial Women in Seaside Villages Reclaim Lives, Rebuild Livelihoods in Chile

More than a year after the earthquake and tsunami in Chile, nongovernmental organizations have made the switch from emergency relief to reconstruction. While government projects are still delayed, women in seaside villages are taking the lead in rebuilding their communities one strand of seaweed at a time.

ENTE DE MAR, CHILE – Elizabeth Ramirez, 38, and her neighbors earn a meager living gathering and harvesting seaweed in Gente de Mar, or “People of the Sea,” an enclave of 30 fishing families in Penco, a city in southern Chile. Families have refused to leave their homes despite the damages from last year’s earthquake and tsunami.

Along the shoreline here, partially repaired houses share the beach with a few wooden dinghies and a carpet of soggy seaweed. Ramirez says that frequent rain has caused the seaweed she recently harvested to rot.

Ramirez and her neighbors sell their seaweed crops to a local agent who ships them to Japan. But after the March earthquake in Japan, demand has withered.

“The police came to tell us that the ola japonesa [Japanese wave] was on its way and to leave our homes,” she says. 

She says the waters washed across the beach and up to her door. But the sea pulled back, and, undeterred, women ventured out to the rocks to hunt for shellfish.



Read more: http://www.globalpressinstitute.org/global-news/americas/chile/entrepreneurial-women-seaside-villages-reclaim-lives-rebuild-livelihoods-#ixzz1QfzQ1D9p

Filed under Women Entrepreneurs Tsunami Earthquake Community Poverty Society

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