While coronation festivities were taking place downtown on the square, a tragedy was occurring in the newly organized colonia of Guadalepena. This is the area just south of me that was formally known as the "invasion", an illegally occupied area of land.
Many stories of exactly what happened are floating around. Por Esto, our local paper, reports that the fire was started when three propane tanks exploded. One, or more, of them evidently had a leak and a nearby burning candle ignited the fumes. The family who left the candle burning was not home at the time of the explosion. Otherwise we would probably be looking at more than property damage.
Nineteen homes were damaged, nine of them totally consumed in the fire. These families lost everything they own. Additionally, a nearby home, not part of the settlement, was badly damaged.
The charitable organization, PEACE, here on the island has immediately jumped in and is organizing collection efforts to replace some of the items lost by the families. For now, donations of almost every kind are being accepted at the La Gloria English School.
Thanks to PEACE for the following photos of the total devastation experienced.