I have just returned from Cuba having spent 10 days down with two different groups. I write this immediately upon my return after receiving countless e-mails, text messages, and FaceBook messages about our friends in Havana after the tornado hit last Sunday night.
A tornado has not hit Cuba for about 40 years and this one hit at night without warning. Three small towns were affected, Guanabacoa, Regla and a small part of outer Havana. All three of these areas are places where we do work.
I happened to be with a group in Pinar Del Rio that night dealing with a terrible wind and rain thunderstorm. We were on a Tobacco Farm and a little nervous about our situation when Robin (our staff leader) received a call from his son whose only words were “father please help us the house is being destroyed” then the line went dead. Robin choose to leave the mountains to return to Havana, driving through the mountains during a thunderstorm, we worried for his safety.
When he arrived to Havana he found his neighborhood in ruins including his house. A total loss. Many of these areas still do not have water, electricity and in Cuba there is no safety net or disaster relief as we have in this country.
Robin’s family is okay with the exception of his oldest son Robin who at age 18 had enough presence to lay over his mother and little brother to protect then being struck by flying objects himself.
I think that the photos will tell the rest of the story. We only ask that you keep Robin and his family in your thoughts as well as the people of these two towns, many who are now living on the street and cannot return to their homes.