How do you clean up after a messy volcano?

Slowly, patiently and by putting a lot of people together.

This is what people of Bariloche are doing today for the second time since the eruption of the volcano Puyehue. On June 20th over 2000 people, mainly volunteers gathered in the center of the city to begin a massive clean up of the downtown. In their first effort the people of Bariloche removed nearly 20 tons of ash! This second organized event brings together neighbors again with shovels to continue the arduous work of the clean up after Nature’s mess. The amazing show of solidarity and civic duty is yet another step in an effort to bring this town closer to normalcy. The whole region, relying heavily on revenue from tourism has suffered greatly from the disrupted travel and many hotel closures.

Meanhwile, the government of Neuquen announced a restoration effort for the town of Villa la Angostura which was affected the most by the ash fallout.

On another positive note, in times like these often show the world their industriousness and creativeness. A woman in Villa la Angostura has used the volcanic ash to start a brick production, still in testing for any possible toxic effects. Yet another example of recycled ashes is the driveway repaving project at Ana’s parents house. My father-in-law, Roberto Rupar who is an engineer by training, has taken this free material and improved the easement to his property by compacting the ashes. A glass indeed half full!

Unfortunately, the flights throughout the region are still affected, cancelled and/or delayed even as far as Mendoza.

 

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