Dicter Mendoza, an ice cream vendor in Esperanza, and his family were awakened by a storm and heavy winds tearing through their home. He stated to the Tico Times “The first [part of the house] fell, then the others came soon after. When we got up there was nothing; no walls, no kitchen, everything was scattered.”

The family had only just moved in a few months prior to the destructive storm and had already made an initial payment on the lot. The house was built by Dicter himself as a temporary structure while he made payments on the property. The storm destroyed almost everything the family owned when it hit on March 2nd. “Right now we have nothing,” Mendoza told the Tico Times. “We even lost our clothes to the storm.”

Unfortunately the Mendoza family’s home wasn’t the only home impacted by the storm. The Caribbean brought in a sharp increase in air pressure and strong winds, thus causing the storm. The storm ended up affecting the entire area and even put a stop to a local festival, Fiesta Civica, and made the waters of Playa Guiones too cold to surf or swim in.

Luckily, the Mendoza’s had a neighbor willing to help. A local bartended, Lucy Ramirez, stated to the Tico Times “When I heard about the family, I knew I needed to do something. A lot of people know me around here, they like my cocktails. I thought I had an opportunity to do something.” Ramirez proceeded to visit a local surfing school, Agua Tibia, and proposed they host a fundraiser for the family. The co-owner of the shop, Agua Tibia, told the Tico Times “We’re always open to this kind of thing. We like the idea of everyone having a little bit and giving a little bit.”

They ended up hosting a party that included a full bar, full grill of meat, ceviche, and one of the owners even played the part of DJ. They raised  ₡230,000 ($460) from the sales of food and drink and an additional ₡220,000 ($440) from individual donations. Every penny goes to the family. Recycled building materials have also been secured for the family in order for them to reconstruct a house.

Ramirez told the Tico Times that she doesn’t plan to stop there, however, and stated “The important thing is that we help and see this all the way through. That’s life sometimes, but everyone can do their part and we can make a difference.”
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