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Ask a Realtor: Any Hurricane Patricia Relief Efforts?

October 30, 2015

A framed baby pictures lies atop a collapsed wall as residents sort through the remains of homes destroyed by Hurricane Patricia, in Chamela, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015. (AP Photo)

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Boardwalk Realty PV Agent John Swanson answers questions about Hurricane Patricia and the relief efforts that are being made in Puerto Vallarta to help our neighbors to the South - the thousands of farmers, small business owners and families - that live in the hardest hit areas.

Q: We heard a lot about Hurricane Patricia initially, but not much since the day it hit land. Are there any relief efforts for the towns that were hardest hit? How can we help?
- Billy T, Texas

A: Great question Billy, thank you!

First, a little background. Hurricane Patricia, the largest hurricane to ever form in the Pacific Ocean made land on Friday, October 23rd at 6:15 pm near an eco-reserve named Cuixmala, south of PV approximately 120 miles, and north of Manzanillo approximately 60 miles. While Puerto Vallarta sits on a bay protected on three sides by the Sierra Madre Mountains, all precautions were taken for the safety and well-being of all our residents and visitors as the hurricane headed for land.

Because of the size of Patricia (this was the Mother of all Hurricanes) many small towns were damaged - Barra de Navidad, Mascota and Careyes being some of the more famous. Many small farming communities, too many to name, were also among the hardest hit.

Mexico is being praised for the preparation by their emergency services which helped evacuate many people. This and good fortune amounted to very few deaths (six) and 30 hours later the storm had dissipated in the rugged, mountainous land.

While the worst weather was over, thousands of farmers, small business owners and families that live in these areas now have dire living situations with much flooding, loss of all services and, for many, a loss of everything they owned. Simply put, these families - our neighbors - need help.

While I cannot speak to everything that is being done nationally, one thing I can tell you for sure is that the Puerto Vallarta community CARES! Many local businesses and institutions (including Act II, local schools, Rotary, The Property Girl and many, many others) have had AMAZING support gathering much-needed cleaning supplies, food, clothing, personal items, etc. Our company, Boardwalk Realty, is matching the first 25 donations of goods.

The contributors have been rich, poor and everything in between. They are all races, ages and genders. It has been very touching to see people from all walks of life putting their differences "in their back pockets" and coming together to help. So often we look at the negatives in life, the differences between us. The rally to help has shown me how many selfless, wonderful people there are in our community!

If you would like to help, a great website to make contributions has been put together HERE. Great job Don Pickens (Casa Cupula), Danny Mininni (Act II Entertainment), Julie Guerrero (No Way Josť!) and Robert Price (Botanical Gardens).

We all have a message for the distressed towns; "Vallartans" from everywhere care, and we are stepping up to the plate. I am so proud to be part of this community!

John Swanson is a real estate and lifestyle expert at Boardwalk Realty PV. He is a long-term resident, homeowner and has raised his family here. He is a contributing writer for Banderas News and as a hobby, performs locally in the Texas Embassy Blues Band. You can contact him at john(at)boardwalkrealtypv.com, or visit their website at BoardwalkRealtyPV.com.

Click HERE to learn more about Boardwalk Realty PV.