Archive | Sun Sentinel

He’s scared, but refuses to go to shelter

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – Raymond Perez thought the memorial garden of the Church-by-the-Sea was a safe place to sleep.

But seven hours after settling up a small resting area there Wednesday night, Perez was struck in the head, arms and legs with something that “felt like a stick,” sending a throbbing shocks through his body and leaving him bloody and injured under his olive-green polyester blanket.

Perez, 49, became the third victim of violent beatings on homeless people around Fort Lauderdale early Thursday morning. Continue Reading →

Undocumented immigrants don’t qualify for help from FEMA

Oakland Park, Fla. – Dalia Mesa paced inside the scarcely furnished one-bedroom Oakland Park apartment she now calls home, placed both her hands on her stomach, rubbed her pregnant belly, and sighed a bit of relief now that she has a roof over her head.

Mesa and her husband, Armando Juarez, a construction worker, used their savings to move after Hurricane Wilma left their previous apartment just a few blocks away roofless, soaked and moldy.

They do not qualify for temporary housing or loans to rent an apartment or grants to replace damaged furniture. They are among the thousands of undocumented immigrants in South Florida who cannot count on aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help replace lost furniture, food, or gas after Hurricane Wilma. Continue Reading →

Farm workers avoid shelters

Bonita Springs, Fla. –  Juan Lopez stood shirtless in front of his battered, rusty trailer park home with a Budweiser longneck in his right hand and the Mexican novel Estefania in the other.

A huge live oak tree and several pine trees swayed over Lopez ‘s trailer as Hurricane Wilma’s winds approached Southwest Florida on Sunday afternoon. His skin shimmered as he came out of his hot, humid home.

Lopez , 43, a construction worker, will weather his first storm at home, even though officials issued a mandatory evacuation order for all mobile home residents in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties. He’s scared about the storm but more scared of being deported. Continue Reading →

Romance, relief, solace: hot springs are way cool

Curacautin, Chile – A timid roar surfaces from a fracture in the ground, jetting a misty stream into the night. A single bulb lit the path to the steaming mountainside pool, sheltered by stars set in a dark velvety canopy.

11 p.m, 40 degrees. Time for a warm-up nature’s way – in a hot spring.

In Chile’s Lake Region, hot springs are an excuse for a vacation. The National Service for Geology and Mining here counts 244 outlets of geothermal waters. Most lie in the volcanic zone stretching from the Andes to the Pacific, north of Patagonia near the city of Puerto Montt. Continue Reading →

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