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Tuesday, July 17 2018 @ 12:04 AM EDT

Black Christ of Portobelo Procession on 21 October

History & ReferencePreparations. On Sunday 21 October, thousands of Panamanians and foreigners are prepared to participate in the traditional procession of the Black Christ of Portobelo, Colon. The community, which celebrates the feast of the Nazarene, is going through a difficult time, following the mudslides that buried some homes two years ago, killing eight people.

A team from the DIA a DIA newspaper toured the area, confirming the abandonment, because from the entry of the town f Portobelo it can been seen that the majority of the houses affected by the landslide remain in total neglect. Those affected are still waiting for the government to solve the housing problem which they have faced since the day of the incident.

One of them is Diana Rivas, who has had to live in a rented apartment, near her old home, to see that no one steals her land. She said it was very difficult to start from scratch, because nobody expects to lose all of their belongings in one day. Although she did not lose and family members, Diana has had to work two jobs, to regain her stuff. According to her, the subsidy received from the Government is not enough to maintain the house and kids, and they want their homes to be constructed as soon as possible to regain their former life.

Carlos Chavarria, the Mayor of Portobelo, reported that at the moment they are offering a monthly allowance of $150, trying to help those who have been affected in some way. With regard to the houses, he said they purchased a lot of land in Portobelo, to build new homes for the affected families, but at first they had problems with the National Environmental Authority (ANAM), because the area was considered to be a reserve for the community. After several meetings, they managed to finish the filling of land for the construction of the houses, and they plan to resolve the problem of those who were affected in about four months, said Chavarria.

Until that promise comes true, residents hope the Black Christ of Portobelo will create a miracle for them. (Dia a Dia)

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