A new home after the floods in Paraguay

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.

Looking for 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.

Rubble next to a river in Paraguay
Communities living near rivers are more vulnerable when floods happen and water levels rise.

The road to recovery

A man showing another man a shovel outside a home in Paraguay

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

Learning to rebuild

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

Cecilio used the hammer and nails to repair his old roof and build the frame for another section of his house. He plans to use the tarpaulins to build the roof and weatherproof the section of the house he was framing.

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.

A wooden structure of a home
A man holding a shovel outside a house

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.

He has also dug trenches for drainage, and post-holes to support the frame of his building.

“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.”


Homes destroyed in paraguay flooding

Months of torrential rain have caused severe flooding in the capital of Paraguay, forcing entire communities to move to higher grounds to escape the floodwater.

With support from partners and local authorities, a ShelterBox team is in the country providing vital aid to families who’ve lost their homes.


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