Damage at the Espinal Student House
Hello dear friends, I just wanted to send you a brief letter to keep you up to date with our situation since the earthquake last Thursday night. As you may have seen our region was hit by an 8.2 earthquake last Thursday night at 11:50 PM. First and most importantly all the students, staff and former students who are in Juchitan, Oaxaca and surrounding communities are safe. Our two student buildings withstood the quake, but both have some damage.
I was home asleep with my two girls when the quake hit, We were out on our balcony sleeping semi outdoors to beat the summer heat. We were startled awake as the whole house shook and swayed and made our way down the stairs with much difficulty and outside, while the world shook and roared around us. Without cell service or electricity, we quickly got in our car and drove to the student house in Juchitan to check on the girls. We passed many damaged homes in Juchitan, and everyone was on the street, it was a nerve wrecking 10-minute drive, wondering if the students were okay. They were, and the house seemed to be okay save for a leak from the cooking gas tank on the roof, so we evacuated them to El Espinal to our director´s home. We have sent them home for at least a week as they are mostly from outlying areas that were less affected by the quake and aftershocks.
The aftershocks are many and strong, as I write this I have gotten up once and left the building for what used to feel like a strong quake. Tomorrow we will have someone out to evaluate the two student buildings, and we are waiting for word from the schools. One high school where our students attend ready sent word that the school is damaged and asked families for help on Monday clearing rubble once they know the remaining structures are sound. Meanwhile, Juchtan, our home town has no water, scarce electricity and is in chaos, The historic center, town hall, 16th-century church and many of our traditional homes were destroyed. Over 5000 homes destroyed and 61 lives lost in Juchitan alone.
We have not yet assessed the cost of the damage, but the student buildings will need repairs, we will need financial help to get the structures back to living conditions. It looks like the Juchitan house will need fewer repairs, the cooking gas tank, bathrooms, water delivery system all need repair, and our property wall on one side is leaning dangerously and will need to be torn down and replaced. Unfortunately, the house in El Espinal has more damage, and we need to get it evaluated and see how to rescue the living spaces. We will keep you informed over the next few weeks, but any donation can help to get us up and running again so that the students don´t lose this school year.
We will keep you informed over the next few weeks, but any donation can help to get us up and running. Please consider donating to help us through this crisis. Looking at the main page of GlobalGiving I see so many natural disasters this week we can only leave it to you to consider what is most urgent, but I ask you to consider giving generously to us here and Centro de Compartimiento so we can get up and running soon.
Thank you for the support you have given to us, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers,