Squamish chooses Humanity Village 

Four Squamish residents who spearheaded the Squamish Humanity Village Project are on their way to Sri Lanka this weekend.

Specifically, they are going to visit a small village on the Indian Ocean called Wanduruppuwa (pronounced Wandaroo poora) where all of the 67 homes in the village were destroyed by the Dec. 26 tsunami.

Patricia Heintzman said the trip, which all four residents are paying for out of their own pockets, will be a fact finding mission as well as a chance to begin building the relationships to sustain a long-term partnership between Squamish and this village on the other side of the world.

They are hoping to formalize ties not only with the government but also with non-governmental organizations in the area.

Once home to roughly 600 people, Wanduruppuwa was all but washed away in the Boxing Day tsunami. The villagers who survived are in several refugee camps and people have been trying to recover any pieces of their former life that may have been left in the wave’s wake.

Villagers, who made their living primarily from fishing, are now struggling to come to terms with not only their loss but also the fact that the water, their source of livelihood, destroyed their lives.

The goals for the Squamish Humanity Village Project are to rehabilitate the houses in a short period of time, restore livelihoods, develop confidence to renew social life and begin ecological restoration.

The Squamish representatives have named a few potential partners including: the World Conservation Union, the Sri Lankan government and the Vancouver Sri Lankan Friendship Society.

The Squamish contingent leaves on Saturday for a two-week trip.


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