They used to enjoy the magnificent waves of Chile’s central coastline. Today, after the earthquake and subsequent tsunami, Chile’s beaches are for the moment just a nice memory for the thousands of national and foreign surfers.
However, they are not worried about that. On the contrary, they believe that there is no time for lamentations and that the priority is a different one: to help the thousands of victims from the natural disaster.
With this goal in mind, dozens and dozens of people have arrived at the shop Surfise Paradise in Santiago. Over three tons of aid has been collected there, including clothing, food and medication. Nine trucks have already been sent to the area, mainly to Pelluhue Curanipe and Mariscadero in the Maule Region, one of areas hardest hit by the earthquake and tsunami.
Chilean youths have also mobilized to help the victims. One of the most exemplary cases was the one involving over 200 youths who gathered at the INJUV (National Institute for Youth) Storage Center in La Serena and started collecting products that victims were in urgent need of. The public response was successful and a significant quantity of supplies were collected and have already been sent to the affected area.
For its part, the Chilean Students Confederation (Confech), together with ministries, municipalities and volunteers, organized the collection of clothes, food, and cleaning materials, which will be transported to the catastrophe zone by air. Specifically, the aid is destined for Pichilemu, Paredones, Hualañé, Licantén, Chanco, Pelluhue, Parral, Constitución, Cobquecura, Tehuaco, Dichato, Tomé and Penco.
Businesspeople have not stood on the sidelines either when it comes to reacting to the tragedy affecting Chile these days. In addition to the fact that machinery has been widely available to remove rubble, there is the exemplary assistance provided by companies like AguaLate, a company that announced on its social networks that “as an exceptional situation all sales for the next two weeks will be converted into donations of water for the victims in the in the Catastrophe Zone.” Their goal is to reach a total of 20,000 bottles of water, which will be transported by the Chilean Red Cross.
According to the company, for every seven packs or more, the equivalent in five-liter jugs will be sent to those who need it most.
The company Estrategia y Diseño launched the website www.emergenciachile.info, an aggregator that indexes all contents in the press, Twitter and Flickr and organizes it by region and city. In this way it provides precise information on all of the latest news after the catastrophe.
Another source of support worth highlighting is that of the well-known business man Leonardo Farkas, who sent 17 truckloads of aid to Iloca, a coastal town that practically disappeared after the tsunami. In the area you can also appreciate the work done by former world motocross champion Carlos de Gavardo, who donated accessories that he used in rallies to help the earthquake victims.
Meanwhile, through Caritas Chile, the Chilean Catholic Church opened a special bank account, number 0-082-18-00080-1, RUT 70.020.800-1 at Banco Santander Santiago. The money will be allocated to the areas that were hardest hit, while contributions from abroad can be made to the Red Cross’s Citibank account number 9941973331 Código ABA: 021000089 Address: 153 East 53rd Street, 4th floor. New York, NY 10022. In the United States you can donate US$ 10 to the Chilean Red Cross by sending a text message with the word “CHILE” to the number 90999.
The magnitude of the disaster also affected national athletes, who despite their physical distance from Chile sent messages of support to the population in an attempt to raise the morale of Chileans. Humerto Suazo, who plays for Zargoza in Spain, scored two goals over the weekend and after each one he showed his t-shirt saying Strength, Chile! This is despite the fact that the FIFA forbids messages of all kinds. For his part, Gary Medel, who plays for Boca Juniors in Argentina, dedicated the goal he scored against Vélez Sarfield to the earthquake’s victims. Minutes earlier his teammates had entered the playing field holding the Chilean flag in a sign of support for the country.
In England, the players at West Bromwich, where the Chilean Gonzalo Jara plays, said that they will wear jerseys with messages of support for the inhabitants of Chile at the game they will play this Saturday for the English second division football league.
This post is also available in Spanish