Newfoundland Estate, Dominica - 9 December 2017: 3 Rivers Eco Lodge, Dominica is proud and delighted to announce to our Ecoclub community that we are open for business following the passage of Hurricane Maria. We wish to thank all our friends for your thoughts and support since Hurricane Maria devastated Dominica on September 18th, 2017. Everyone connected with the lodge is safe, although the Eco lodge and the entire island took a severe beating. Our thoughts are with those who fared even worse than us.
Here at 3Rivers & Rosalie forest Eco lodge the process of cleaning up and repairing and rebuilding is progressing well, and we are looking positively forward. We are delighted to report that we are open and can receive understanding guests, and offer a still wonderful stay on our beautiful, though changed, island. Although we lost the most of our dormitory and dining room/education centre, our cottages were only slightly damaged. Two have some twisted windows and doors which we have temporarily fixed so they function. And our ocean view cottage lost a part of its roof but it’s covered, dry, usable and almost finished fixing completely. The island-wide shortage of screws, nails and other hardware does mean we can only progress slowly, but every day sees improvements.
We already have a new temporary bar and dining area using tarpaulins and we hope to build a new small dining area over the next few weeks. The education centre will come in the new year hopefully. If you happen to have a marquee tent to give or lend us meanwhile feel free and thank you. Although the dormitory was virtually flattened, the bathroom is intact, with a newly repaired roof; and so we are now able to receive campers. We hope to begin rebuilding the dormitory before the end of the year.
Maria showed no mercy in the Rosalie rainforest. To understand try and imagine no leaves whatsoever on about 95% of the Islands trees throughout Dominica. That said most are already bursting with new life and the green will grow back quickly. The wildlife is slowly coming out of hiding. Parrots seeking food now hang out in our guava trees which are laying down but still, amazingly have some young fruits on them.
Our tree houses were built around ancient trees which were snapped in the 200+ miles per hour winds and so both tree houses have been totally destroyed, debris flying hundreds of feet. Once we have repaired all the damage to the lower property we will look to build new cabins in the forest as it grows back. The positive side is with all the fallen trees we now have lots of wood that we can chainsaw and use for rebuilding. If you have a chainsaw and know how to use it feel free to come and help.
Most roads are now open, although damaged they are motorable and almost everywhere is now accessible. The big bridge on our access road has totally gone and the smaller bridge has a hole in it. For now, it is necessary to cross through the big river, about 100 feet in width, and in places thigh deep, but the rope that has been tied across the river to hold on to makes it not too difficult to cross. We can help with any bags. The second smaller bridge nearer to 3 rivers has a hole in it, but can be crossed relatively easier in just knee deep water.
It is possible to get cel and mobile data services here at the Ecolodge. The long process of repairs and rebuilding is well underway so we can now take guests in two cottages as well as plenty of campers.
Around the rest of the island, the damage is devastating. Almost everyone took damage, many villages flattened and homes destroyed or, at best roofless. The recovery progress, however, is even more impressive than the devastation. In our local partner village of Grand Fond probably 80% lost roofs and took damage. In many cases, houses completely flattened and destroyed. But the resilience of Dominicans is admirable and heartwarming. The primary school was hardly damaged but the preschool has major roofing issues.
As many of the students’ homes were damaged books pens flash drives and all their belongings were destroyed and so any donations of that kind would be well received. Currently, the school is acting as a shelter for those who lost their homes. If you or someone you know happens to have a big tent marquee available or wants to donate then the school could reopen fully in the village playing field whilst repairs are carried out to the residents' homes.
The local village health centre took some serious damage too. If anyone is able to donate lots of basic medical supplies we have a list and they are much needed and would be well received. The next village of Rivieres Cyrique fared even less well than grand fond. Most homes destroyed and the school severely damaged. The undamaged part of the school is a shelter for those who lost their homes. So another big tent/marquee would be great.
If you wish to assist in our recovery here at the Ecolodge or donate to the school supplies or marquee all help will be gratefully received. You can send us materials or anything you think would be useful.
Feel free to message or email any questions but please be patient with our response. Voicemail messages are not good or reliable for now so don’t leave a message. But you can keep trying eventually we should get service.
If you donate via PayPal please let us know if it is towards school supplies, marquee or ecolodge recovery.
We have also started a GoFundMe campaign to rebuild the schools in the local villages and restore our own education facilities.
The donations will be split as follows:
- 2/3 of the funds to be given in forms of checks to the local schools
- 1/3 of the funds will be used to rebuild the Eco Education Centre here at the Ecolodge.
Follow this link for our GoFundMe campaign: https://www.gofundme.com/maria-relief-dominica-education
Any and all donations are so very appreciated. Thank you in advance and to any and all who have helped out thus far!
All of us at 3 Rivers & Rosalie Forest Eco Lodge appreciate your thoughts and concerns and ask you to pause for a minute in your day for those who lost their lives as a result of the passage of hurricane Maria.