Organizers of the Atacama-set Dakar Rally are teaming up with a global non-governmental organization (NGO), which has offices in Chile, to help rebuild the areas hardest hit by southern Chile’s Feb. 27 earthquake.
Dakar coordinators Amaury Sport Organization are donating funds, including a percentage of race participants’ fees, to NGO Un Techo para mi País (A Roof For My Country) to support the charity’s reconstruction efforts in cities affected by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
The partnership also will build four community centers in the Atacama region, including a library, community hall and education room, and will construct an additional thirty new houses in Argentina.
Dakar 2011 is known as the world’s toughest rally and will bring hundreds of motorcycles, trucks, car and quads racing across the landscapes of Chile and Argentina from Jan 1 to 16. On the Chilean side of the border, the race will make stops in Calama, Iquique, Arica, Antofagasta and the Atacama region’s capital of Copiapó.
Un Techo para mi País is a charity of youth volunteers that specializes in constructing emergency housing and had planned to construct 20,000 houses following the devastating earthquake in February. By July 2010, the NGO reported that more than 75,000 volunteers had already helped construct over 21,000 houses.
While the charity has been partners with the Dakar rally organizers since the first edition of the Dakar in South America in 2009, Amaury Sport Organization says the agreement will be renewed with even more intensity in 2011.
“The commitment of Amaury Sport Organization with the sustainable development of the countries crossed by the Dakar Rally is both concrete and real,” said Etienne Lavigne, director of the rally, in a statement.
“The excellent work done by the youth of Un Techo para mi País in Argentina, Chile and other Latin American countries motivates us to continue working with them and give them all of our support to continue helping more families.