Mexico City, Puebla, Morelos and Oaxaca have recently been hit by massive earthquakes, all within just a few days of each other. Hundreds of people have died, a great deal of infrastructure has been destroyed, and many buildings have been damaged. While the situation is very troubling, there is much that tourists and the international community can do to help with the recovery effort.
Citizen Brigades have been set up throughout the country to help clear away rubble and search for survivors, and as time moves on, those brigades will be more focused on cleaning up and helping the newly homeless. Bike brigades, motorcycle brigades, and thousands of volunteers are working to distribute supplies.
If you would like to help, the first thing to bear in mind is not to cancel your trip to Mexico. The country needs your support, and one way to support the hardworking volunteers of Mexico, and the shop owners and workers who continue to keep the city going, is to invest in the local economy. If you have concerns about safety, it’s important to remember that Mexico has always been an extremely seismic, volatile zone, and the recent earthquakes have neither heightened nor decreased the probably of another natural disaster.
Secondly, there are many organizations working to help survivors, support rescue efforts, and relocate people who have lost their homes. If you want to help, you can make a donation to the Mexican Red Cross (Cruz Rojo) or a local organization called TOPOS, who are specialists in earthquake rescue and recovery.
If you are visiting Mexico yourself, or know someone who lives in the country, a great way to help is to bring or send money for supplies. Supply centers and shelters across all the disaster zones are still very much in need. Items that are desperately needed are personal care supplies such as shampoo, toothpaste, soap, tampons and pads, deodorant, and diapers for both kids and adults.
There is also a great need for hard hats, lamps, tarps for covering areas during the rain (which will mostly likely continue until the end of October), extension cords, and duct tape. Medicines for asthma, diabetes and other common illnesses are also urgently required.
The Mexican government has listed official supply centers in Mexico City, and you can find them in this article by a local online paper, but there are centers scattered throughout the city that will take donations. In the Roma and Condesa, two neighborhoods that were damaged by the quake, the Roma Huerto, the Plaza Cibeles, and Parque Mexico are all locations that are accepting donations and transporting them to other areas of the city. In the adjacent neighborhood of Narvarte, another hard-hit area, a center has been set up at the intersection of Division del Norte and Eugenia. So many people are lending a hand in this crisis, and you can too.
Find out why Mexico is so susceptible to earthquakes.