On September 19th, 2017 a 7.1 earthquake struck Mexico, leaving the states of Puebla, Morelos, Chiapas, Oaxaca and Mexico City in chaos. Just two weeks prior an 8.2 earthquake hit the state of Chiapas leaving 102 people dead and weakening the structural integrity of many buildings and houses. So when the September 19th earthquake hit these same buildings, schools, and homes came crashing down, killing 370 people in the process. This earthquake has come to be known as 19S.
In an unfortunate coincidence, 19S happened on the 32nd anniversary of the worst earthquake Mexico has seen in modern history– an 8.0 earthquake that left a staggering 10,00 people dead on September 19th, 1985.
19S (2017) damaged 5,765 homes in Mexico City alone, 40% of which were deemed beyond repair and were subsequently demolished. Oaxaca saw the worst damage in terms of housing, leaving 63,336 homes damaged– 34% of which also had to be demolished. In total 19S left 250,000 people homeless in Mexico, and 6 million without access to water.
Back in September when this happened, Howl Magazine NY set up a “Rebuild Mexico” Relief Fund in an effort to send aid to those who needed it most. With your incredible help and generosity, we raised upwards of $12,000!
To be quite honest, it took some time to figure out where to allocate the funds to ensure they would be used properly and in a transparent manner. Last month we came across a 19S volunteer-based organization called AYOK, and we are so happy to announce we’ve partnered with them to build houses for families that lost their homes. These families inhabit very rural areas of Mexico that are difficult to access and thus last to receive assistance if it ever comes at all.
With just a quarter of the funds we raised, WE ARE BUILDING THE FIRST HOUSE!
This house will belong to Mr. Eustacio. Mr. Eustacio is over 80 years old and lives in a town called Huejotengo in the state of Morelos. When the earthquake hit, he was unable to leave his home due to his partial disability. He was, thankfully, rescued from the rubble of his fallen house.
The wonderful volunteers at AYOK have begun the task of building a new house for Mr. Eustacio, and construction is set to begin this weekend. Whats more, AYOK will rebuild this home with adobe (mudbrick), a traditional Mexican building material made from earth and organic material.
Mr. Eustacio. Photo by AYOK.
Our fund will remain open for anyone who wants to donate. Right now, we have raised almost enough to build four houses. That's four families whose lives you and I have directly impacted. Bringing hope, safety, and stability to those who need it most.
The amount of support our fund has received has been incredible and will go a very long way. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for helping rebuild our beautiful Mexico and coming together in times of adversity, despite the current divisive political climate in the USA. We are united in our humanity, not our citizenship, race or socio-political status.
We will make sure to keep you updated on this amazing project. If you are in Mexico and want to volunteer, AYOK is always looking for an extra set of hands to help. You can contact and follow them on their Facebook page, or message us at Howl Magazine and we will connect you with someone.
Stats sources: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/mexico-earthquake-death-toll-rises-last-body-pulled-from-rubble/