Thursday, September 21, 2017

Earthquakes in Mexico—September 2017

Some of the destruction in Mexico City—and the volunteers assisting
I am sure that anyone who reads a newspaper or who watches television in Canada is now quite aware of the terrible earthquakes—one on Sept 7, and another on September 19—that have caused loss of life and major destruction in several parts of Mexico. The earthquake on September 7 affected mostly the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas; the earthquake on September 19 affected mostly the states of Morelos and Puebla and Mexico City.
Many residences (and schools and work places) will have to be torn down completely
I am writing this short blog simply to let people know that I and my friends here in the Mountain of Guerrero are fine. We definitely felt the two earthquakes, but there was no loss of human life, such as occurred in other places. Many buildings were damaged, some severely—for example, the church in Xochihuehuetlan was so severely damaged that it will have to be totally demolished.
The parish church of St. James the Apostle, in Xochihuehuetlan—before the earthquake
But some close friends of Mission Mexico have now had their lives turned around because of these earthquakes. In Cuernavaca Paty Gasca and Rodrigo Cruz lost the apartment that they had bought a few years ago. There is not a culture of “house insurance” in Mexico like there is in Canada, so a family often has to continue paying the mortgage on the destroyed property while at the same time trying to find a new place to live. You, the reader, may remember that Paty, a graphic designer, has assisted with many publications for Mission Mexico and has coordinated projects in the State of Morelos; Rodrigo, a professional photographer, has supplied Mission Mexico with many incredible images of life here in the mountains of Mexico. 
Paty and Rodrigo—grateful to be alive
And a good friend in Mexico City, Veronica Aguilar, lost the house in which she lived with her mother. Veronica was here in the mountains in the month of February with a dental brigade offering free service in the impoverished village of Agua Tordillo.
Veronica and her mom now have to try to put life together again
At the present time, there is a lot of havoc and confusion in the areas affected. Later, the task of rebuilding will take place. Here in Tlapa, many groups are collecting food, water, medicines, clothing, blankets, etc., to bring to the areas most affected. It is quite amazing to see the solidarity of the Mexican people—and it is especially amazing to see that the poorest of the poor tend to be the persons who most willingly share with others.
A barefoot woman offering food to send to the earthquake victims
Mission Mexico is trying to assist in these efforts as best it can, especially by using its truck to pick up items to be delivered to the neediest areas and by helping to pay for gasoline so that vehicles can bring the supplies that are gathered for the victims of the earthquakes. It will be a long struggle for many families to “reconstruct” their lives, but we will try to assist as best we can in these efforts.
One of many groups in Tlapa collecting supplies for the needy
To close this blog, I would like to mention a good friend of mine: Mauricio Suarez. This young man is the son of Nacho and Inés, a young Mexican couple who died in a car accident sixteen months ago. Mauricio studies law at the UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico) in Mexico City, and he has worked tirelessly to organize the university students to provide assistance to the neediest of the needy in isolated communities in his native State of Morelos. Mauricio is just one example of the thousands of people who are selflessly working in solidarity, and I can only imagine the pride that Inés and Nacho would have if they could be accompanying him now. 
Mauricio (in green): organizing university students to work in solidarity

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