Activities on March 8
On March 8, President
Clinton will arrive in Managua, Nicaragua to begin his four day tour of
Central America. Upon arriving in Managua, the President will be greeted
by President and Mrs. Aleman of Nicaragua in a brief arrival ceremony
in which the two leaders will review an honor guard.
the arrival ceremony, the President will travel to the Casita Volcano
Area near Posoltega. Here the President will survey the devastation wrought
by Hurricane Mitch and honor the victims of the catastrophe with the dedication
of a plaque.
Posoltega is the site
of the single worst Mitch-related disaster -- an enormous mudslide that
left some 2,000 dead and thousands homeless. Today, the only signs that
communities ever existed here are a single, badly-damaged house, scattered
pieces of clothing, and the shallow graves of humans and animals spread
throughout the area. The path of the mudslide covers over 60 square miles.
No signs remain of the torrent that swept away the communities en route
to the sea, some 25 miles away.
The President will
then address the people of Nicaragua in a speech at Jose Dolores Toruna
High School in Posoltega. In his remarks, he will reaffirm U.S. support
for relief and reconstruction efforts in the wake of Hurricane Mitch.
The Jose Dolores Toruno Lopez High School is a 60-year-old public institution
serving several Posoltega settlements, including the two that washed away.
Twenty students were killed during the mudslide, and an additional sixty
lost their parents.
After his remarks
to the Nicaraguan people, the President will meet with survivors to discuss
the impact the Hurricane Mitch has had on their lives and the ways in
which they have adapted and are recovering from the storm.
The President flies
to San Salvador, El Salvador to spend the night before traveling to Honduras
on Tuesday morning.