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
Gratitude: Oaxaca Thanks All Who Give Support
We are not yet “out of the woods!” There is still so much more to repair in Oaxaca state*as a result of the September 7, 2017, earthquake that registered 8.2 on the Richter Scale. The quake was centered just off-shore from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in southern Oaxaca state, where most of the damage occurred in and around the town of Juchitan de Zaragoza.
Click here for regional map
Coastal villages, like where life is as it was thousands of years ago, have no fresh water, contaminated wells from broken septic systems, fissures in earthen floors, and crumbled dwellings. The prognosis: Broken lives. Broken homes. Broken hopes. Years to recover.
The weaving and fishing village of San Mateo del Mar is one such village where anthropologist Denise Lechner and pediatrician Anja Widman are working to repair the world.
This is where I have directed the funds that have come to me by check from people who have responded to this blog and Call for Help!
I want to take this moment to thank you.
Countless more of you have made donations directly to Denise’s PayPal account and I’m sending personal Thank You’s on her behalf. Others have helped through the Francisco Toledo Foundation. There is also a way to make a wire transfer to the Alfredo Harp Helu Foundation that will make a 50% match.
Thousands of aftershocks result in sleepless nights.
In the last ten days, there have been shock waves registering 6.1 to 4.1 several times a day, throughout the region. I imagine people are suffering from PTSD. Let alone the need for mental health, the public health risks are huge.
Map of Quake Region. You can see the fragility of the coast town of San Mateo del Mar, where I have visited. Dysentery and infection especially threaten the lives of children who are less resistant to disease.
Yes, there is much to do to repair our world. We know that Puebla State and Estado de Mexico are also damaged, and the death toll has risen in Mexico City.
And, then there is our Puerto Rico, USA Territory disaster, where federal help is scant and the situation is dire, and another Twitter War points to 45’s lack of moral compass.
Where ever you choose to give, please be generous and continue to be generous. Our friends need your help.
Sending sincerest thanks, Norma
P.S. DO NOT CANCEL YOUR TRIP to Oaxaca City, Puerto Escondido or Huatulco. These areas were not affected by the September 7 earthquake. I am returning to Oaxaca via Mexico City at the end of November. I intend to be in Mexico City for several days. I will not succumb to fear!
Posted in Cultural Commentary
Tagged Denise Lechner, donate, earthquake, gifts, Mexico, Oaxaca, relief fund, support