Last night, when I returned to Durham, North Carolina, I opened my mailbox to find three checks totaling $700 USD for Oaxaca earthquake support. Most of these gifts were collected by Mary Randall, my Oaxaca friend who lives in Modesto, California. Others came because people contacted me directly asking if they could send a check instead of making a PayPal donation.
Special Thank You to:
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Stanislaus County, Ca. where Mary’s call to action resulted in a collection of $300 USD!
And to these individual donors whose checks I received.
- Mary and Sara Randall, Modesto
- Christine Fiedler, Modesto
- Mary James, Modesto
- Richard Kowalczyk, Springfield, VA
And, thanks to so many of you who made your gifts directly via PayPal.
I’m expecting another gift from Mary in the mail. Her daughter Sara is an elementary school teacher. The Third Grade at Garrison Elementary School, Modesto, gathered $47 USD for earthquake relief. Mary says a neighbor kid’s grandma is buried in the rubble in Mexico City.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
There was another 6.1 magnitude earthquake in southern Oaxaca yesterday. This was one of several yesterday in the same region of the 8.2 quake. USGS officials are saying these are aftershocks. I’m certain people are jumpy and suffering from PTSD, fearful for loved ones, not having the resources to rebuild.
There is a lot of need right now in our world. What we choose to repair is a personal decision. If you have extra resources for Oaxaca, here’s what you can do:
- Mail a check to me, payable to Norma Schafer, 500 N. Duke Street, Apt. 55-307, Durham, NC 27701. I will send the funds on for direct aid to either the Toledo Foundation or to Denise Lechner. Please specify.
- To Francisco Toledo Foundation Francisco Toledo’s Foundation IAGO (Instituto Artes Graficas de Oaxaca) https://www.paypal.me/donativoistmo (This link is no longer working. I’m trying to find out why.)
- To anthropologist Denise Lechner who is working in the field https://www.paypal.me/deniselechner
- To Alfredo Harp Helu Foundation as follows via wire transfer:
Special thanks to Mary Randall, a knowledgeable historian and resource about Oaxaca. Her talks at the Oaxaca Lending Library attract eager audiences whenever she is in residence.
Magnitude of Need is 10.0
Oaxaca got hit with another earthquake yesterday, a 6.1, and then there is Puebla, where major historic sites were damaged, and Mexico City, where people died buried in rubble from the 7.1 earthquake last week. Climate change and destruction are upon us. Where to start? It’s your choice! There is so much to do.
From on-the-ground-in-Oaxaca: I’ve been in Oaxaca city since early August. Experienced both of the big quakes, on 9/7 in the Isthmus and on 9/19 in Puebla state. We got a scary ride on the terremoto machine, but the city and surrounding areas, including the (north) Oaxaca coastal area, are fine. The massive old buildings here, built of huge blocks of solid rock, seem to do well with the earth shaking.
All around the city are pop-up centers for gathering donations of food, water, clothes, diapers, medical supplies, etc. that are going to Juchitan and smaller pueblos in the Isthmus, where the devastation has touched everybody. And Norma has already published the ways we can donate funds that will be matched and will be assured of getting to the people in need. We can help too with our purchasing dollars.
Note: There is some controversy about how aid is being distributed, especially through NGOs that have ties to the government with reports that funds are being diverted to political use.
I assure you that my friend, anthropologist Denise Lechner and Dr. Anja Widman, who is working with her, have taken a Mobile Clinic and donated goods to provide care services and supplies to people in communities that need them most on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and neighboring mountain villages.
If you made or make a gift directly to Denise Lechner, the Toledo Foundation or Helu Foundation, please let me know. I would like to recognize you and give you public thanks. I am not sure how donors will be acknowledged by these organizations. They are too busy giving aid. With appreciation, Norma