As you know, a major 7.8 earthquake struck Ecuador two days ago, the strongest in Ecuador since 1979. Several hundreds have died and thousands are homeless. We have been posting information on our Facebook page for those wanting to get regular news and where to donate.
Many friends in Sierra have reported they are safe by checking online through Facebook. All Peace Corps volunteers have reported that they are safe.
Epicenter was on the coast with major damage in cities like Pedernales, Porto Viejo, Muisne where there has long been a history of volunteers. Several hundred people have died, including friends of RPCVs and volunteers. Volunteers are mobilizing to get resources to the coast for rescue and relief operations, though it sounds like some areas are dicey in terms of security, as there is some desperation in towns for re-supply.
Here are photos of the damage, with people sleeping outside for fear of aftershocks. This photoset from Manabi is heartbreaking and includes aerial photos of the damage.
How You Can Help
Current Peace Corps volunteers have expressed an interest in helping and many of them who live along the coast are mobilizing funds to try to help. In general, it’s hard since unless you are trained in disaster response, it’s difficult to be useful, especially since outsiders converging on an area may themselves need food, water and shelter that are in short supply. It sounds like some coastal based volunteers, current and former, are working with local foundations and law enforcement to try to provide assistance. Others are channeling money to them. Money is probably better than donated goods.
Here are three sources that came up that are known to us personally or through the Peace Corps network. At bottom, we provide links to more well-known charitable organizations. We’ll try to update as we have more information.
Ouida Chichester who has worked with Friends of Ecuador in the past in Pedernales with a foundation for people with disabilities has a donation site and is working to mobilize funding. …
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