It has now been almost 13 days since the devastating earthquake hit the Ecuadorian coast. Some days it seems like a lifetime ago and other times it seems like it just happened yesterday. It is probably to the point in the U.S. that the earthquake is no longer getting a lot of media attention. My parents have told me that there really hasn’t been a lot in the news since the week it happened. There was a news piece on FoxNews I am told of the ONE news anchor that came to Ecuador. ONE. I know there are many things going on in the lives of those in the U.S. The death of Prince, the birthday of Queen Elizabeth, etc, etc…
But life here doesn’t really have the capacity to have an “out” so to speak when it comes to the earthquake disaster here. Relief efforts continue whether they get new coverage or not. People mourn and grieve at the great losses they have experienced. And even if we personally have not experienced loss, we mourn with them, we lament with them at the destruction and the lives that will never be the same.
Since April 16th, the reports have said that 659 people are dead, 16,600 injured, 50 missing and about 7,000 buildings destroyed. These numbers are likely to increase.
The IPEE (National Covenant Church of Ecuador) Camp in Santo Domingo is being used as a temporary shelter for a group of people from a city that was over 80% destroyed, Pedernales. There are currently about 70 people being housed there and IPEE has coordinated a rotating schedule of people from churches in various districts from Ecuador to come and provide assistance in the form of counseling, pastoral care, recreation, job skills training, medical care and music. The goal is to have the temporary residents take ownership of the space and time there to coordinate their meals and cleaning. There is a general camp administrator and someone from the area of Service or FACE from IPEE is in charge of the overall decision making.
This week has been a time of planning and evaluating what is the best way to do long term relief efforts in an organized fashion. Below is an official letter from the President of the Covenant Church of Ecuador, Henry Burbano. Click on the link below: