I have been so heartbroken seeing the news of Ecuador’s massive earthquake and the subsequent aftershocks that continue to plague the country. I have a special place in my heart for Ecuador and all her people. Hundreds have died, and many more have lost everything. If you are able, please do what you can to help Ecuador in these recovery efforts.
If you can help, please support these agencies’ response efforts as they desperately try to deal with this disaster:
Ecuador Red Cross: Providing assistance in search and rescue operations, first aid, and long-term support with health care needs as the country recovers. Donate to the Red Cross efforts here.
Oxfam: Sending life-saving water purification and hygiene kits to the people of Ecuador. Donate to Oxfam’s efforts here.
Unicef: Addressing immediate sanitation and hygiene needs in the area hit hardest, providing water purification tablets and attempting to prevent the spread of disease in the disaster’s aftermath. Donate to Unicef’s efforts here.
World Vision: Providing shelter, especially for children and families in need of a safe space. Donate to the efforts of World Vision here.
CARE: Providing the essentials of food, shelter, and water, as well as assessing long-term needs in the area to assist with recovery. Donate to the efforts of CARE here.
As we have seen in similar situations, like the earthquake in Haiti and Hurricane Mitch in Honduras, it will take years for Ecuador to recover from this disaster. Whatever contributions you can make will help them in these initial life-saving efforts, and then in their inevitably long and arduous rebuilding efforts.
I also encourage you to visit Ecuador. While the coastal areas have been decimated, the rest of the country’s tourism sector is still intact and fully functioning. The Ministry of Tourism spoke with Travel + Leisure to assure their readers that the country is still ready to welcome visitors.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families who have lost loved ones,” said Fernando Alvarado, Ecuador’s Minister of Tourism. “Ecuadorians are resilient and hardworking people and have joined forces to help their countrymen in their time of need. We are looking forward to collaborating with our tourism industry partners and friends across Ecuador and from around the world, to help rebuild the areas most affected along Ecuador’s Coast and restore tourism to the region.”
Tourism investment is often the easiest way you can continue to support a nation in the long aftermath of a disaster. Do not cancel your trip to Ecuador because of this earthquake – they need your visit now more than ever. They need to know that they are not alone.
I lived in Ecuador for six months back in 2008. I spent time along this coastal region that has now been destroyed. You can read about the beautiful beach towns that used to line this coast, and I hope you’ll do what you can to assist in the country’s efforts to rebuild them. Thank you!