By J Guadalupe Chavez
On Sept, 7, Mexico’s abundant countryside was devastated by the 8.1 magnitude earthquake that ravaged the rural towns surrounding Juchitan, Oaxaca Mexico.
The event left homeowners and business owners with nothing but debris overnight. The symbol of government within Juchitan — its city hall — was one of the first images to appear in complete ruin.
With great pain these people kept their heads up through the hurricane rains that poured above them, past the aftershocks, and past the 7.1 earthquake on Sept. 19 that brought down many buildings in Mexico City. With the second earthquake, much of the government aid that was once headed toward the countryside was cut off and distributed instead to the new earthquake victims throughout the country.
I am the organizer of an effort to bring aid to the Oaxaca countryside. During a trip to Southern Mexico in July of this year, I had the opportunity to visit Juchitan through the invitation of community leader Professor Alberto Regalado and his family. Here I experienced a town full of art, textiles, and fertile lands similar to that of my home state California.
People of Rural Oaxaca Are Amazing
It was this stop in my trip that truly allowed me to see the beauty that is Oaxaca’s rural areas and the amazing people that call it home. Here people lived in gratitude. Their natural surroundings are further blessed with the endless creativity that residents invest in their crafts, traditional Mexican clothing, art, music, and ancestral foods.
Prior to the earthquake, I made a decision to move to Mexico for five months with the consent of my employer. At no moment did I imagine that my travels would quickly become a disaster-relief effort, but how could I deny the need of the people that opened their homes to me a few months ago?
I return now with my brother Martin Chavez, about 80 camping tents, and funds to help cover the cost of food and medical supplies of this community and those around it. In the past three weeks, we have given temporary hope to this disaster-stricken community through our close work with community members like Prof. Regalado. Now we are delivering the items they can no longer get in their own towns.
The path to recovery appears to be a long one, but with people like you helping there is hope for a return to what once was.
Please consider donating at GoFundMe https://www.gofundme.com/Mexico-Earthquake-Fund at YouCaring https://www.mexicoearthquakefund.com/youcaring and staying up to date with our efforts at http://www.mexicoearthquakefund.com/ and on Facebook via https://www.facebook.com/MexicoEarthquake/
We hope you follow our journey in helping rebuild and bring aid to Juchitan via GVwire.com.