Supporting Victims of Ecuador Earthquake

Volunteers at Delgado Travel's main office choose and pack boxes full of donations collected in New York. (Photo by David Ramírez via El Diario)

Volunteers at Delgado Travel’s main office choose and pack boxes full of donations collected in New York. (Photo by David Ramírez via El Diario)

[On April 27, Mayor Bill de Blasio, noting that New York is home to 140,000 Ecuadorian immigrants, called on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to extend Temporary Protected Status to Ecuadorians who may be in the U.S. and unable to return home following the earthquake in their home country on April 16.

Meanwhile, Ecuadorians and others have been busy responding to the needs of those who suffered from the earthquake. Below are excerpts from a story by El Diario’s David Ramírez.]

The tragedy has not only touched Ecuadoreans. New York’s diverse community has shown its solidarity with the victims of the violent quake that ravaged Ecuador one week ago.

Spontaneous groups have formed in every borough to support the Ecuadorean community by joining the efforts to collect essential goods, provisions, medicines, hygiene products, blankets and any other items sorely needed during disasters of this type.

“We cannot give much, but what little we are able to gather we offer with all our hearts to our brothers and sisters in Ecuador,” said Ernesto Bolaños, from Colombia, who dropped off a large package at the Delgado Travel main office in Queens.

Rosa Quishpe, from the city of Ambato, Ecuador, donated baby food, diapers, disposable plates and bottles of isopropyl alcohol.

“Anything we can send the people affected will be of great help. We ask that people continue to donate, as our country urgently needs all kinds of items,” said Quishpe as she delivered her contribution at the offices of Local 78 in Queens.

Similarly, Westchester community groups are coordinating the collection of donated goods, which they will send to Ecuador independently.

“We will not wait for the consulate’s authorization to take action. The victims are dying because official help doesn’t arrive, so we are sending donations on our own,” said Julio Guaña, born in the Ecuadorean city of Azogues.

In this manner, the community has mobilized throughout New York City to help the victims of the April 16 earthquake.

Linda Machuca (middle), consul general of Ecuador in New York, receives goods donated by her compatriots. (Photo by David Ramírez via El Diario)

Linda Machuca (middle), consul general of Ecuador in New York, receives goods donated by her compatriots. (Photo by David Ramírez via El Diario)

The Consulate General of Ecuador in New York – alongside other delegations spread throughout the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and including the consular office in Queens – is organizing the collection and subsequent delivery of goods to affected areas in the South American country.

At every drop-off center, dozens of volunteers are working against the clock to distribute and package the items.

“A tragedy like this can happen to any of us. Ecuador is suffering, and we are coming to its aid,” said Enrico Guidotti, an Italian who lives in Corona, Queens.

Meanwhile, several Ecuadorean organizations in Newark, New Jersey, promoted a performance featuring several artists at Branch Brook Park on Park Avenue. Donations of all sorts were collected there to send to the affected families.

[On Friday] a vigil organized by Inmigrantes Unidos por Ecuador (Immigrants Organized for Ecuador, or IUE) was held in Corona Park, at 103rd Street and Roosevelt Avenue in Queens.

Walter Sinche, one of the promoters, said that the IUE is planning an “Ecuathon” to raise funds, to be held on Sunday, May 1. The event will be held simultaneously at the Sabor Latino restaurant in Queens and the Ritz Theatre in Newark.

In Queens, a benefit concert was scheduled for [last Sunday]. The initiative was coordinated by state Sen. José Peralta and Assembly member Francisco Moya, who is of Ecuadorean descent.

“Ever since we learned of the devastating news coming from Ecuador, we set out to help in any way we can,” said Peralta, who represents Senate District 13, home to more than 46,000 Ecuadoreans, according to the Census.

The event [was held] at La Boom nightclub, located at 56-15 Northern Blvd., in Woodside, Queens.

To find collection centers in New York, please visit the Ecuadorean consulate’s webpage at www.cecunuevayork.com

 

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. calls for solidarity in helping the victims of the earthquake in Ecuador. (Photo via El Diario)

Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr. calls for solidarity in helping the victims of the earthquake in Ecuador. (Photo via El Diario)

In a separate story, David Ramírez reports that the Bronx declared a “Day of Solidarity” with Ecuador on Monday.

Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr., New York State Assembly member Marcos Crespo, Council member Rafael Salamanca and members of the Ecuadorean community declared a “Day of Solidarity” with Ecuador, honoring the victims of the earthquake that devastated the Latin American country.

“This powerful earthquake has destroyed many lives, and we must all come together to help those who need most in these most dire of circumstances,” said Díaz Jr.

Díaz pointed out that Ecuadoreans “are the fourth largest Hispanic group in this city, and many members of this community make their residence in the Bronx.”

(…)

Also participating were Rep. José Serrano and State Assembly member Francisco Moya, of Ecuadorean heritage.

“We cannot stand by when a tragedy of such magnitude strikes. The Bronx and New York stand up to assist our Ecuadorean brothers and sisters,” said Serrano.

(…)

 

Reporte Hispano’s Gery Vereau reported on the aid efforts in New Jersey over the weekend.

(Photo via Reporte Hispano)

(Photo via Reporte Hispano)

Maribel Delgado, an Ecuadorean living in Summit, Union County, New Jersey, has not slept since the 7.8-magnitude earthquake devastated six provinces in Ecuador, including Manabí, where her 24-year-old son, Henry Delgado, lives.

“In the last five days, I was able to hear two words from my son Henry: ‘I’m fine,’ was all I could catch,” said Delgado. A relative of hers who works at the Spanish consulate told her that her cousin, Segundo Delgado, 40, died in the quake. She also learned about the terrible conditions her town is enduring.

Delgado’s son and two other brothers live in Los Arenales in the town of Crucita, province of Manabí, on the Pacific coast. At the moment, residents of the area still have no power or drinking water, as food begins to become scarce. The town is practically isolated.

“I sincerely ask you to help the families that are going through this tragedy in Ecuador. Please, let’s put our hand on our heart and help them in any way we can,” said Delgado.

(…)

The consul general of Ecuador in New Jersey, Jorge López-Amaya, told Reporte Hispano that a toll-free information hotline has been created for people living in the U.S. who have relatives in Ecuador. The number is 1-844-668-4543.

Next week, the consulate will ship a container with all the provisions collected at more than 30 drop-off centers throughout the state.

The consul also said that the diplomatic office is not accepting cash donations. Any money must be deposited into the official bank accounts.

“We are confident. People are being very generous in the face of this tragedy. Our community is very busy, but everyone is giving a little of their time so that we can help our Ecuadorean brothers and sisters who are going through a very serious situation,” said Consul López-Amaya.

(…)

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