After Hurricane Odile, Response and Recovery Shows The Cabo Community’s Strength

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Organizations have worked hard to pick up the pieces after Hurricane Odile tore apart much of Cabo’s neighborhoods, destroying buildings in the process.

Faryn Masso Clark, founder of Facelogic spa, was living the good life as an expat in Cabo, but had to evacuate back to Texas after Hurricane Odile made landfall on Baja California Sur Sept. 15. “We didn’t want to leave at all,” Clark said. But, because of necessity, Clark, her husband, her three kids and their dog left two weeks ago. Today, they’re ready to go back.

And the Baja peninsula, ravaged by storms, is ready to receive them.

The swift rehabilitation and reconstruction of Cabo’s infrastructure and commercial areas is borne out of necessity, Clark said. The area depends on tourism, and without a working airport, without operable hotels, without a clean beach, tourists will likely turn on their heels.

“Sunday morning we woke up to reports of a hurricane off the coast,” Clark said. “[Officials] said it wouldn’t be a direct hit.” When the hurricane made landfall on Monday, all bets were off, though. “It was really crazy,” she added. “We had no idea what was going on. We had no communication.”

Expats like Clark who wanted to head back to American soil, were left out of the loop. Roads were blocked or washed out, or otherwise impassible. Still, Clark and her husband decided to set out for the airport to see what was going on just in case.

“Thousands of people, tourists were trying to evacuate, and the people who weren’t tourists weren’t being evacuated at all. We were at the airport roughly 8 hours, just trying to find a way out,” she said. There was no evacuation notice outside the resorts or hotels, Clark added. “They didn’t want every Mexican in Cabo showing up at the airport.”

Still, Clark and her family were able to get out the next day by being at the airport first thing in the morning. It was the only solution for her family once they found out that it would be 14 to 30 days for the power to be fully restored. While it didn’t take that long, the thought of being trapped in their community with no power was untenable.

But now, three weeks after Odile hit, Cabo is putting the pieces back together and residents and tourists are coming back. Thanks to the help of several non-profits making sure people in Cabo’s severely battered barrios have food and water. That includes Thirst No More, a nonprofit bringing potable water to these neighborhoods.

The staff at Villa Del Palmar is ready for guests.
The staff at Villa Del Palmar is ready for guests.

“The community is really coming together,” Clark said. “There’s a lot of unity, with neighbors helping neighbors. The people didn’t change because of the storm.”

People have been asking what they can do to help, she added. There is a great need for food and water, and help rebuilding many of the neighborhoods destroyed by Odile. Cruise ships are delivering relief, and donations are crucial to help the area bounce back. You can help by supporting Cabo StrongThirst No More, Heart 4 Cabo, and even a temporary shelter for dogs left stray by the hurricane. Biosanes, the company founded by Clark’s mother, Nanci Masso, is also donating food for hurricane relief.

Villa Del Arco is ready to welcome travelers to Cabo.
Villa Del Arco is ready to welcome travelers to Cabo.

Planning to travel to Cabo? Have reservations? Wondering if top tourist spots will be ready?

“Book ’em,” Clark said emphatically. With the first flight already landing in Cabo this week, they’re ready.