You might remember me as one of the authors on this site, although in all honesty, internet-less jungle life has hampered my abilities to research and write articles. But I do surface from time to time to talk about some cool aspect of the insect world. (Spoiler Alert: It’s all Cool).
But today, I’d like to talk to you about something that’s affecting my home. And it’s the earthquakes. Yes. “quakeS“.
You probably heard about the 7.8 earthquake that struck a town called Muisne off the coast of Ecuador. Even though I was over 200 miles away, the lodge I’m staying at still shook for about a minute and I could *hear* the earthquake. It was like a clap of thunder, that lasted for a minute … and shook the building … for a minute. “Unsettling” is definitely the word I’d use for that.
However, you probably haven’t heard about the other bazillion and a half earthquakes that have happened in the past week since then. In fact, there’s been so many that many sites and apps aren’t recording them anymore to try and decrease panic among the people.
As you might have imagined, I’m okay and I really do appreciate your concern. But today, I’m here to talk about my experiences with my best friend’s family who lives in Muisne.
And to ask for your help. I’m asking for the people who can’t.
I’ll be going down to the affected areas May with any donations that people want to send me and with the money that people would like to donate. You can send physical donations to my previous advisor at UGA and I’ll pick them up this week, or she’ll bring them down when the term abroad goes to Ecuador in June. Please write on the package that they’re donations for Ecuador.
To encourage you to consider helping me and my friends, I’d like to share with you a little photo adventure.
So let’s introduce the players.
In addition to running around on the motorbike, Carlos invited me to go to his parents house for New Years. They live in Muisne and I stayed with them for a few days. We also went back just a few days before the earthquake! It was probably one of the most awesome, but also culturally shocking experiences of my life.
We did lots of fun things!
But Somethings Were Really Different Too
After everything, I couldn’t have felt more welcomed by this family.
But Everything is Different Now
Remember those earthquakes? Remember how I said people here don’t have running water. Remember when I said that you had to take a boat to get groceries? Remember when I said there wasn’t space?
It’s hard to collect rain water off your roof, when you don’t have a roof, because you don’t have a house.
It’s hard to find any amount of clean-ish water since drainage is poor and maintenance has all but stopped. Everyone has moved inland across the river and are just sleeping in the streets indefinitely.
Lots of people jumped up to help!
Even this dog saved people from the earthquakes in Ecuador before dying of exhaustion.
But Now It’s Time For Us.
You, Me, Everyone.
I’ll be going down to the affected area May 15-20th in Muisne to help out Carlos’s family and community. I’m asking for donations to be made to my PayPal account or donations to be mailed to me. Please email me if you’d wish to donate something physical and I can tell you the best way to get it to me. I’ll be leaving back for Ecuador next week, but a group affiliated with the University of Georgia will be going down in June and can bring things too.
Why You? Why Not Any of These?
You certainly can donate to those! And it would be really helpful! However, many people going, especially with the government aid aren’t going to all the affected areas. Muisne and el Cabo San Fransico are two of those areas. I’ll be going there specifically.
So you can donate to any of those, but I’ll specifically be going to Muisne and El Cabo San Fransisco. And it an area where a lot of aid isn’t getting too right now. So I’d really appreciate your help and the people of these areas also would really appreciate it.
What Sorts of Things Do They Need?
ots of people are sleeping out in the streets still. And will be for who knows how long.
Some things are cheaper to get here in the states. Things like sheets, mosquito nets, tents, clothes, and shoes are all really important. So if you’d like to mail any of these things to me, please do so! Water filters and purification tablets/drops are also really needed and difficult to find in Ecuador! Also don’t forget that women have monthly biology that happens regardless if you’re in an earthquake zone or not. You can also give me money so I can buy things like food and water. If you want to buy these things new, you can ship them to the University of Georgia Biology Building where I will pick them up or my advisor will bring them down on her term abroad trip in June.
I Can’t Mail Things, And I Don’t Have Enough Money To Donate
I know this sounds cliche, but literally every dollar counts.
A 5 gallon tank of clean water costs ~$2.00
1KG (2lbs) of rice costs ~$0.50.
A veggie pack costs ~$1.00.
A portable stove top costs ~$13.00.
You can feed a family for >$5
So just don’t get one cup of coffee, and help bring food to an area in Ecuador.
If we get enough money, or have enough things to bring down that we just can’t take the bus, some of the money will be allocated to renting a truck to move everything. Esmeraldas is at least a 6-7 hour drive from where we are so if we have to rent a car, it’ll cost us about $100. But we can haul a lot of stuff this way!
How Can I Trust You … Random Stranger?
Great question! I have a vested personal interest, I’ve already been down to the affected areas. I really just want to help people in an area that help isn’t getting to. Also, if you want to see your funds go to a specific area, or buy specific things, please email me! Everything is sent to PayPal account, so it’s not some sketchy website or something. And all donations will be sent to the University of Georgia where I will pick them up or my advisor will bring them down in June.
Someone already donated money to me, and I used it to help pay for my friend’s sister-in-law and her 3 year old son to travel and in Carlos’s house in the Quito area. I’ll send you pictures of the areas, us helping, the families we’re working with as proof that we’re doing what we say we’re doing. If I can’t get something done, I do have local friends who are also helping. I’m just a girl trying to fix some things in the world and would like your help =)
Won’t the Donations Be Too Late?
There’s lots of help right now! But some people have already returned. Supplies are running out. People’s entire lives were swallowed up by the earth in the matter of minutes. I don’t really care your financial situation. You can’t rebuild your life and your mental health from a natural disaster in 2 weeks. Imagine if your house burnt to the ground right now. RIGHT NOW. Do you think you could fully financially recover in 2 weeks? Probably not. When other people will returning, Carlos and I will be there for Round 2 of help.
Hi. My name is Nancy. I write for this blog. Also I’m living in Ecuador. I survived at 7.8 earthquake far away from the epicenter but my best friend’s family wasn’t so lucky. Also there’s not available aid in Muisne – where the earthquake struck. There’s been a lot of people who’ve helped already, but my friend and I want to go and help too, especially to the area where his family was affected. Supplies and help is lacking in this area. So we’re looking for physical and monetary donations.
If you want to mail me stuff to be brought down either in May or in June email me and we’ll get it organized. Or youc an just send or ship things to my advisor at the University of Georgia. She’s taking a term abroad down in June. Otherwise you can give me monetary donations to purchase things down there like water, food, and bug spray.
Here’s that quick list again if you need some ideas of what they need. Also if you give me money you can specify what you want the money to be used for by emailing me!
We’re excited to help! And we’ll work to the best of our abilities to get stuff done =)