On April 16th 2016 the coastal region of Ecuador was hit by a 7.8 earthquake.
It was devastating and demolished entire villages. There are many places in need right now, but my heart is with the small surf town Canoa Beach where I have spent many weeks with my family.
Now, Canoa is 70% destroyed and 4000 people are living in tents.
There is no income because the village depends on tourism.
There is no housing, no space available for shops, and … there is the fear.
In case of an earthquake, no one can be blamed.
Mother Nature herself is your enemy and that is one awful feeling. I can tell, because I have been there and I have seen the fear, I have even felt it. At night you make sure you are wearing something that can be useful in case you need to run out of the house. During every aftershock you feel like an ant that depends on natures goodwill. Can you imagine that there have been over 2000 aftershocks? People are on the edge.
They are scared to enter a building. They are scared to leave their family members. They won’t sleep inside or even under a tent roof. They have flashbacks, no money, no routine, no work and little hope. This situation will continue for a long time. An entire village has to be rebuilt and we are still talking about Ecuador, a third world place.
There are many initiatives that fund demolition, a new market, sanitary installations at the tent camps, food, medicine, water and so forth. Many people want to rebuild the village. We think that first of all we should rebuild its people.
So Patricia and I created a Campaign called Sin Miedo –
that means No Fear:
Sin Miedo means NO FEAR and we are empowering the people in Canoa to face the threat, breath, and deal with it in the best possible way. We do not reconstruct buildings, we rebuild souls. We do not give provisions, we build resilience. Please help us to continue our work. It depends on donations from people like YOU.
So far, the campaign was implemented in the school Los Algarrobos where 95 families have their kids. It was a great success. One of the major issues is no-attendance because of fear. After our campaign the attendance rate went for 15 kids last week to 65 this week. It was funded by my sister in law and friends of Patricia and me. Now there are three more schools in Canoa and the nearby town Bahía de Caraquez who want to be part of our campaign.