A few months ago, we all hoped the villas on the island of St Vincent would become a tourist attraction.
But a lot has changed since then.
The villas have been closed since the 2016 disaster, leaving just one place for the world’s largest single family residence, which houses nearly 4,000 people.
It’s now been left to the residents to try and save the village from the ravages of the earthquake and tsunami, while also making sure it can withstand the effects of the devastating storm.
“The first two months we had a lot of pressure from the government and the community, and it’s all about that pressure now,” said Maria Martino, the owner of a small family-run business.
“We’ve had a few of our families have to leave the island, and we’re all struggling, so the stress is getting worse.”
The owner of the business, Maria Martinelli, said her business has been devastated by the devastation.
“In the past, we used to make a lot more money, now we’re just struggling to make ends meet,” she said.
“There’s no income coming in from the villagings.”
I don’t know how we are going to pay for our bills, and the food we get is also just not good.
“The situation on St Vincent is a major concern for many residents who have been left without the income they’ve been used to.”
For the first time, we’ve had to start thinking about the future, because now we can’t even afford to eat for the first couple of days,” said Mr Martinelli.”
Every time we eat, we think about what could have been, and what could happen next.
“When you lose your income, there’s no money left for anything.
So we’re in this position.”
The government has taken steps to try to save the island.
St Vincent Mayor Giancarlo Ficano said the government has put in place a special fund to help the residents.
“St Vincent has the potential to become a great tourist destination, so it’s important that we keep doing everything we can to ensure this,” he said.
“We have to be patient.”
A few years ago, a group of residents decided to create a special trust fund for those who lost their homes, and now they’re working on creating another fund to assist the local residents.
The community has also formed a local association to help those affected by the earthquake.
“One of the main things we’re doing is creating a local organisation to support people who are affected by this crisis,” Mr Ficana said.
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