Milton Women Organize for Ecuadorian Earthquake Relief

By: Laura Steiner

There’s a Spanish saying that goes:”hoy por ti Mañana por mi (today for you, tomorrow for me).  Gabriela Lazo believes it has something to do with the unsteadiness in the world.  “We are uncertain of our future and I would certainly appreciate the help of others if I was in need tomorrow.”

On April 16, 2016 an earthquake of approximately 7.8 magnitude struck the coast of Ecuador.  The death toll is estimated at 654, with over 16,000 injured, and 58 missing.  An aftershock of 6.2 magnitude struck the coast on April 19.

earthquakemap

Lazo was born and raised in Ecuador.  “This earthquake has affected me because it hit home and I feel so powerless being here in Canada.”  She has been in Canada for 15 years, and reached out to  Elena Luna.  Luna works for Development & Peace Canada, a charity associated with the Catholic Church.

Ecuador is considered a developing country.  President Rafael Correa estimates damage to be between $2-3 billion. Over 25,000 people are living in shelters.  “The people who have suffered the most in this are the poor who simply don’t have the means to come out of the situation without help,” Lazo said.  The recovery problems are made worse by declining oil revenues.  Approximately 7,000 buildings have been destroyed.

Lazo has lived in Milton for seven months and found herself motivated community’s charitable spirit.  “I have seen how generous and charitable people in this town are,” she described.  She has opened her home as a drop-off point for donations.  Items needed include:

  • Bandages and band-aids
  • Tylenol, and Asprin
  • Surgical masks
  • Flashlights
  • Non-lithium batteries (for flashlights)
  • Camping equipment (sleeping bags, and tents)

The drop-off point is: 1526 Beaty Trail, Milton Ontario.  A full list of supplies is available in a flyer posted our Facebook Page