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Fernández Freites Family

Originating from: Zona del Teleférico, Macuto

This was the second tragedy for José:

"The first time was in the mountain of Carmen de Uria, in 1951. I was a small child but I remember it all...my father took us out through the mountains, I remember as if it were today."

Adriana lived through the experience in December 1999 and she describes it as: 

" The river was always growing, but I never imagined that it would grow to this size...the river came with such a force and started to take everything...I would not leave my house, even when all my family were wanting to leave...but not me, I wanted to stay until the end..."

The biggest effect on Adriana was: 

"...to have a house one day and by dawn to be on the street...three days without food and no more drinking water either."

José tells: 

"That night was terrible...I was with my grandchildren...and we didn't know what had happened; we were in different parts and as the river came with such noise, we couldn't hear each other..." "When it was light, it was something terrifying, one person screaming to another, but not being able to hear anything...there was too much noise...and those nerves and that darkness...and the children..."

Wendy, his 15 year old daughter, remembers the children...

"they were screaming and crying...and their fear and their sadness". But she considers that "being united, with all the family" was what helped them survive.

For Adriana, that was the most important thing for their survival, nevertheless she thinks about the tragedy: 

"...it can be a punishment of God that one learns by, to be more humane."

For Wendy, something has changed: 

"before, I was not studying very much, but now, if I want to study, I put my mind to it, and if I want, I can..."

Now, José is inspired by an image that he remembers in the middle of the tragedy: 

"We are all united...all one family. It was like in the film of Christ, when he was coming and all everybody behind him...Christ walked with a string of people behind him."

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