By Azam Ahmed and Paulina Villegas / New York Times
A day after Hurricane Patricia all but destroyed his home, Roberto García López took the unusual step of going to work.
He left the wreck of shattered doors and windows, broken columns and splintered trees, filled a cooler with shrimp and began selling his wares on the street on Saturday afternoon.
A short while later, Sabina Montes, a fruit vendor, joined him to peddle cut pineapple, papaya and slaw. Carlos Agustín Manzo, the owner of a store selling bootleg videos and cellphone accessories, also declared himself open for business.
“Yesterday there was so much fear, people thought they were going to die,” said García. “We’re all just relieved that nothing happened. I can’t tell you how happy I am.”
It might seem odd for a man like García to call himself blessed the day after a hurricane swept away most of his earthly possessions, items he cannot afford to replace or repair. But throughout some of the hardest-hit areas of Mexico’s Pacific coast, the refrain was the same: feelings of euphoria outweigh whatever grim work lies ahead.