A photostory of Chamanga’s recovery

Disaster. Shock. Aid recovery. Adaptation. Gradual self-building. Resilience.

On April 16, 2016, an earthquake of magnitude 7.8 hit the coast of Ecuador, devastating a small fishing village, San José de Chamanga along the Costanero coast. With 90 per cent of the homes damaged and the public infrastructure destroyed, some of the community members chose to self-build.

This photo-story presents a post-disaster montage of the inherent human nature to adapt and seek solace in community life present in the urban realm.

Photos: Damini Rathi

A chicken in the yard: Most household furniture was damaged during the earthquake
The damaged and at-risk houses by the coast are still inhabited.
The (now) wall-less houses let you peek into their everyday way of life
Kids on the way to school: The old school was damaged beyond repair. The kids now go to a temporarily shelter school constructed out of shipping containers
In the absence of a functional economy, some women have started small informal businesses such as washing clothes for the neighborhood.
Melancholy is in the air.
The post-disaster economy is recovering slowly as the earthquake destroyed majority of the shrimp farms along the coast. The residents of Chamanga have opened small grocery stores, welding and tailoring shops to supplement their insufficient income from shrimp farming.
Street facades mirror their precarious way of life and a carefree state of mind
The local bar and discotheque
Football is a way of life here.
The quintessential streetscape: The shrimp farmers seen weaving fishing nets
Through a barber’s window
The football fan getting his idol’s haircut
Street style and a sliver of abs
Spectators at a local volleyball tournament.
Through a muscleman’s window
The residents took to the streets to celebrate the carnival weekend.
Carnival celebration with make-shift pool parties.
A family’s portrait.
Though the earthquake had devastating consequences, the community believes all will be well.

Photo credits: Damini Rathi

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