Cecilio's Story


Cecilio and his family live south-east of the Paraguay River.

When the rising water levels flooded their town in March 2019, they almost had no warning. In just one day, Cecilio and his family had to evacuate their town, and reach a safer place.


Cecilio told us that it hasn’t always been like this – rising water levels and flooding have become more frequent over the years.

The waters rise far quicker than they used to, they used to rise slowly, and people had time to self-evacuate.

Now families have much less warning. The water comes in so fast that they have to take what little they can carry and get out as fast as they can.

Cecilio’s family had little warning as the alarms are only raised if the water levels increase in the northern part of the river. They are not always communicated well.


Cecilio told us he was pleased to collect his aid items from ShelterBox. He was one of the first to receive them during one of the distributions in July 2019.

When the team met Cecilio to hear his story, he’d had the aid for a little over two weeks.

With the river levels receding, Cecilio could return to his home.

The aid items from ShelterBox gave me the motivation to return home and begin repairs on my property


Along with other members of his community, Cecilio received tools and training on how to repair his home.

I paid close attention during the training to ensure that I could make the appropriate repairs to my home, and so that it lasts longer and remains stronger the next time the floods come.

Cecilio’s favourite item was the shovel which he has used to level out and heighten the ground for both his and his neighbours’ properties to be rebuilt on.

“It is much better than my previous shovel”, he said. “It is better quality and is lighter, so it is easier to use”.

Cecilio’s old spade had rusted from the flooding, but now he feels that his new tools and tarps will last because of the quality.

The solar light is also one of Cecilio’s favourites. He uses it every night and charges it in the day, calling it his “sun in the night.”

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