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  • Damini Rathi

A photostory of Chamanga's recovery

Disaster. Shock. Aid recovery. Adaptation. Gradual self-building. Resilience.

On April 16, 2016, an earthquake of magnitude 7.8 hit the coast of Ecuador, devastating a small fishing village, San José de Chamanga along the Costanero coast. With 90 per cent of the homes damaged and the public infrastructure destroyed, some of the community members chose to self-build.

This photo-story presents a post-disaster montage of the inherent human nature to adapt and seek solace in community life present in the urban realm.

Photo taken by Damini Rathi in February 2018.

A chicken in the yard: Most household furniture was damaged during the earthquake

Football is a way of life here.

Shopkeeper's window

Though the earthquake had devastating consequences, the community believes all will be well.

one of the many new make-shift shop fronts

The post-disaster economy is recovering slowly as the earthquake destroyed majority of the shrimp farms along the coast. The residents of Chamanga have opened small grocery stores, welding and tailoring shops to supplement their insufficient income from shrimp farming.

Through a barber's window

The football fan getting his idol's haircut

Could a hair salon be where the youth hang?

Kids on the way to school: The old school was damaged beyond repair. The kids now go to a temporarily shelter school constructed out of shipping containers

The damaged and at-risk houses by the coast are still inhabited.

Street facades mirror their precarious way of life and a carefree state of mind

Spectators at a local volleyball tournament.

In the absence of a functional economy, some women have started small informal businesses such as washing clothes for the neighborhood.

Through a muscleman's window

Carnival celebration with make-shift pool parties.

The residents took to the streets to celebrate the carnival weekend and their daily delivery of portable water.

A family portrait.

The quintessential streetscape: The shrimp farmers seen weaving fishing nets

The (now) wall-less houses let you peek into their everyday way of life

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