Dear Friends of Ecuador,
By now, you have seen the news of the 7.8 earthquake the struck Ecuador on April 16. Though the epicenter was on the coast in Manabí, the earthquake was felt in areas throughout the country, including Quito. All of our peace Corps Volunteers and Staff are safe. The 19 Volunteers whose sites were in affected areas have been evacuated to safety while Peace Corps Staff, government agencies and international relief workers assess the damage. If volunteers cannot be returned to their original sites, they will be assigned to new sites within Ecuador.
As fate would have it, we were scheduled to receive a new group of Community Health and Youth & Families Volunteers on May 18. Under the circumstances, we have canceled the arrival of this group to Ecuador. All invitees have been rerouted to other Peace Corps posts, where they will be able to fulfill their service. Canceling the arrival of this group to Ecuador frees up potential alternate sites for PCVs in country who have been displaced and frees up staff to fully dedicate themselves to supporting the PCVs who experienced this disastrous event. Ecuador needs our support more than ever now, and our goal is to get volunteers back to safe sites and constructive work as soon as possible.
As the long-term effects on the country unfold, we will be evaluating constantly how we can best serve. Thank you for your concern and your support. To use the mantra that has taken hold throughout the country, Todos Somos Ecuador!
Peace Corps Country Director, Ecuador