Updated: Jul 30, 2020
Home to 73,000 people and known as The Nature Island of the Caribbean Sea, Dominica is a paradise that sits in the middle of a hurricane region.
When Hurricane Maria struck in September 2017, Dominica was still recovering from tropical storm Erika, which pummeled the island in August 2015.
After spending a few days in Puerto Rico, I arrived at Dominica to document its recovery from a deadly Category 5 hurricane, Hurricane Maria. What I found was a shattered paradise.
It was the most powerful storm in Dominica's history, leaving the island isolated, without power or running water. Housing and infrastructure were left beyond repair, while the island's lush vegetation was practically eradicated.
Besides the catastrophic damage, I was able to capture and follow some stories of the people of Dominica, But in these testimonies, I found more hope than destruction and more faith than defeat.
The people of Dominica were warm and welcoming, even a short time after their homes and island endured terrible destruction.
They taught me a great lesson about resilience.
From my previous experience in disaster or rehabilitation zones, I learned there really aren't enough words to describe the feelings of those who have experienced a tragedy like this.
I recorded some interviews with people who I thought lost it all, but they proved me wrong.
They didn't lose their hope for a second.
This is ''People of Maria.''
I want to thank Israaid who invited me to document their work in Puerto rico & Dominica.
IsraAID's team has stayed in Dominica since the disaster, focusing on rebuilding roofs, expanding livelihood opportunities, education projects and disaster risk reduction.
You can read more about their effort here: https://www.israaid.org/projects/dominica