This Dominican family struggles to get by after Hurricane Maria

Hurricane Maria didn’t spare anyone on the island of Dominica--even prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit lost his roof during the storm. Weeks later, the entire island remained in a fragile state. Here, one family describes their day-to-day life since the hurricane.

By Lorena Arroyo, Nacho Corbella & Esther Poveda

Andel Challenger, 46, clears trees and electricity lines blocking the road near his family’s home. Since a category 5 hurricane hit the island on September 18, they have struggled to find water and food. "There are no emergency services here," he says.

The father of the Challenger family, Hutson, a pastor at an evangelical church, designed the family’s house in the 80s to resist hurricanes. One of the only concrete structures in the Kalinago indigenous area, it’s also one of the only homes there that survived the powerful storm. The house became a refuge for his mother-in-law, two children, daughter-in-law and four grandchildren, who all lost their homes due to the hurricane. Across the island, 85% of homes were damaged.

A school founded by the Challengers, where Hutson, Louise and Andel worked as teachers, was also devastated by María. Now, the family's biggest concern is channeling the help of private donors so that it reaches the rest of the community. They’re trying to survive, taking it one day at a time.

A special report by Lorena Arroyo, Nacho Corbella & Esther Poveda
All Credits

Project: Univision Noticias

Texts: Lorena Arroyo, Elaine Díaz Rodríguez (Cuba)

Video: Nacho Corbella, Esther Poveda, Almudena Toral, Andrea Patiño, Laura Prieto, José Luis Osuna, Mauricio Rodríguez-Pons, Ricardo Weibezahn

Design and dev: Juanje Gómez

Project coordination: Nathalie Alvaray, Selymar Colón, José López

Photo: Nacho Corbella, Esther Poveda, Lorena Arroyo

Text editing: María Sánchez Díez

Data: Ronny Rojas, Dilia Márquez, Antonio Cucho

Social networks: María Carolina Hurtado, Esther Poveda, Nacho Corbella, Ricardo Weibezahn

Digital product: Daniela Jaramillo

Translation: Julie Schwietert Collazo, Melvin Félix

English texts editing: David Adams, Jessica Weiss, Mónica Isola

Additional thanks: Maye Primera, Inger Díaz, Alejandra Vargas, Patricia Clarembaux, Patricia Vélez, Carmen Graciela Díaz, Luis Velarde, David Maris,Angélica Gallón