Churchill's Honduran striker Clayvin Zuniga rescues people hit by Hurricane Eta

Zuniga, who signed for I-League team Churchill Brothers in 2020, evacuated families and led rescue operations in Honduras.

By Rahul Venkat ·

Honduras’ Clayvin Zuniga has not made headlines in India for his abilities in the I-League for Churchill Brothers yet, but he has done so for a cause close to his heart.

Clayvin Zuniga has been at the forefront of rescue operations in his homeland of Honduras, which was severely affected by Hurricane Eta earlier this month.

Eta, a category 4 hurricane, hit Central America - mainly Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala - in November, causing heavy floods and displacing more than three million people and affecting the economy adversely.

Clayvin Zuniga began rescue operations when he heard about a family trapped in its house.

“It all started from the moment my brother received a call to help rescue a family who were trapped on their rooftop. When we reached, we were perplexed seeing more families stuck in that situation and it left us in tears,” the 29-year-old Zuniga told the I-League’s official website.

“We immediately decided what we needed to do and remained there for around 72 hours.”

The Honduran attacking midfielder, who has played for the national team at the U-20 and U-23 levels, felt that it was his responsibility to help his countrymen and that he was not looking at it like ‘social work’.

“Anyone would have reacted in the same way. I have always learnt from my parents to help people when they need it,” said Clayvin Zuniga.

“This situation in our country has been really unfortunate. So many people have been homeless. Honduras has been very badly hit and we all need to do our bit to stand by others.”

Honduras and Central America are currently reeling from the after-effects of Hurricane Iota, another category 4 hurricane, which hit barely two weeks after Eta.

Though fewer than 100 people have died as a result of the twin cyclones, an accurate count is yet to come in as water has still not receded from several areas.

Clayvin Zuniga landed in India on Saturday and is expected to join his new team-mates once his quarantine period ends.

Under new coach Santiago Varela, two-time I-League champions Churchill Brothers will be looking for their first title since 2012-13 in the latest season, which begins on January 9.