Chilean Villagers Take To The Hills For Now Chile's earthquake devastated many small villages along the country's Pacific coast. They suffered from both the quake and the tsunami that followed. In one area, residents are now living in the forest above their deserted village.
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Chilean Villagers Take To The Hills For Now

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Chilean Villagers Take To The Hills For Now

Chilean Villagers Take To The Hills For Now

Chilean Villagers Take To The Hills For Now

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Chile's earthquake devastated many small villages along the country's Pacific coast. They suffered from both the quake and the tsunami that followed. In one area, residents are now living in the forest above their deserted village.

LIANE HANSEN, Host:

Chile's earthquake devastated many small towns and villages along the country's Pacific coast. They suffered from both the quake and the tsunami that followed. Journalist Annie Murphy visited Laraquete, a place where the disaster has brought out the best in the community.

ANNIE MURPHY: Further up the hill, 61-year-old Ruth Castro is the leader of the group she's camped with. They've all arranged their tents around an improvised cooking area. Laundry is drying between some trees, and young kids sit at a table, dipping bread into cups of hot milk thinned with water.

MURPHY: (Through translator) We're here in a group, and we do everything working together. We women cook together. Everything we have, we share with each other.

MURPHY: Nigalina Vallejos(ph) is Ruth's neighbor. She's nursing a 15-day-old baby named Miguel. She had him by cesarean, and says the hardest part of living in the hills has been keeping Miguel and herself clean.

MURPHY: (Foreign language spoken)

MURPHY: This camp, and the town of Laraquete, are an entirely different face of Chile, one that's rarely seen by outsiders. No malls, no upscale apartment buildings or new cars - none of the trappings of development.

(SOUNDBITE OF CONVENIENCE STORE)

MURPHY: Convenience store owner Laura Morales(ph) still has some goods left to sell. It's surprising. Families are running out of supplies, and Laura's kept prices the same as always. Yet few are buying food.

MURPHY: (Foreign language spoken)

MURPHY: For NPR News, this is Annie Murphy in Concepcion, Chile.

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