How You Can Help Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur
My cousins from Seattle introduced me to Cabo San Lucas almost ten years ago and since then we have spent every Thanksgiving week there together with a few extra vacations thrown in as well. During that time, I have come to love that particular part of Mexico. The people who live there work hard and are proud of where they live and what they do. They welcome visitors with open arms and are very dependent upon the tourist trade for their livelihood.
The powerful Category 3-4 Hurricane Odile arrived last week as a most unwelcome visitor. The devastation of the Baja California Sur area has left its inhabitants with a lack of power and drinking water. Many have lost their homes. Resort areas will take weeks to months before they will be operational and able to accept guests.
The Mexican government has stepped in and has begun ferrying some of the almost 30,000 tourists to airports in Tijuana, Mazatlan, Guadalajara and Mexico City in order to catch connecting flights back to the US and other parts of the world.
San José del Cabo International Airport (SJD) has been working diligently to facilitate the clean up effort of removing debris in order to reopen the airport to commercial carriers as soon as possible. However, given the extensive damage to the terminal buildings, it will take several days before they completely reopen the terminals to travelers. The control tower, runways and ramps were quickly repaired yesterday to allow the Mexican Air Force to commence the airlift without delay. This on-going airlift is also transporting much needed food and medical supplies to the affected areas of the Los Cabos region.
El Aeropuerto Internacional de La Paz (LAP) will likely resume normal operations by September 18th or 19th.
The first two domestic flights out of Los Cabos arrived safely in Los Angeles and San Diego this evening. A third, flight 279, is expected to arrive at about 9:20 p.m.
The airport remains closed to commercial air service, but local authorities have authorized outgoing humanitarian relief flights. Customers waiting at the airport are being boarded on those flights on a first come, first serve basis.
All flights to Los Cabos have been canceled.
Alaska will operate six humanitarian relief flights out of Los Cabos International Airport. The six flights to Los Cabos will be loaded with water, food and supplies.
The following flights are planned for Thursday:
- Flight 201: Los Cabos to San Jose
Flight 233: Los Cabos to San Diego
Flight 235: Los Cabos to San Francisco
Flight 239: Los Cabos to San Diego
Flight 251: Los Cabos to Los Angeles
Flight 279: Los Cabos to Los Angeles
Alaska Airlines is also giving individuals the opportunity to donate to its relief efforts. To donate your Mileage Plan™ Miles to Hurricane Odile/Los Cabos disaster relief efforts, please select the Alaska Airlines Charity Miles Pool for your donation. Contributions will be used to support charities involved with Hurricane Odile relief efforts and for transportation of medical staff and volunteers. More information can be found on the Alaska Airlines Charity Miles page.
One of the things I love to do in Cabo is sportsfishing. The world-famous Bisbee’s Black and Blue Marlin tournament is one of the largest fishing tournaments in the world and Bisbee has taken the lead in establishing a Relief Fund for the people of Cabo San Lucas. According to Wayne Bisbee, “We’re creating a call to action throughout the global sport-fishing family to help those who have suffered so much in this natural disaster,” Bisbee says. “We’re donating $250,000 in seed money to the Bisbee’s Cabo Relief Fund and ask our generous fellow anglers to help out by donating themselves. The money will be routed through the Rotary Club International’s Boulder City, Nevada Club to get where it’s needed the most.
“This was a terrible disaster that impacted thousands of lives. But with the support of the sport-fishing community, we can help our Mexican friends re-build and return to normal. Now is our opportunity to give back, so please be as generous as you can,” Bisbee says.
I am hoping that all of us who travel, whether you have ever made it to Cabo San Lucas or not, will find it in your heart to donate something to help the people of Baja California Sur.