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Mexico Earthquake Relief Fund

by GlobalGiving's Disaster Recovery Network
Mexico Earthquake Relief Fund
Mexico Earthquake Relief Fund
Mexico Earthquake Relief Fund
Mexico Earthquake Relief Fund
Photo courtesy of Fundacion Comunitaria Oaxaca
Photo courtesy of Fundacion Comunitaria Oaxaca

It’s been a tough few months for the entire GlobalGiving community, from our nonprofit partners working in areas still struggling to recover from recent disasters to our staff grappling with the impacts of a devastating virus and ongoing fight for racial justice in philanthropy. In response to the current COVID-19 crisis, GlobalGiving has continued to support community-led relief efforts by  providing flexible grants to nonprofits in over 30 countries through the Coronavirus Relief Fund and the Hardship Microgrants Initiative

Whether it’s an earthquake or a global pandemic, our incredible partners are experts in listening and responding to the unique needs of their communities. Your generous support of the Mexico Earthquake Relief Fund has enabled our team to distribute flexible,  emergency-response grants to our trusted partners. These emergency-response grants increase our nonprofit partner’s capacity to continue critical rebuilding and fight against COVID-19.

Take a look at a few of the ways our partners are responding: 

  • Un Buen Grupo de Amigos (UGBA) sent medical teams to areas hard-hit by the 2017 earthquakes in the state of Puebla. When COVID-19 cases began to spread across the region, UGBA quickly sent two Mobile Medical Units to Puebla’s general hospitals to help with the influx of patients. These additional funds allow UBGA to boost hospital capacity in the densely-populated capital city, while also caring for the ongoing needs of vulnerable communities elsewhere in the state. 
  • Fundación Tosepan has worked for over 40 years together with rural-indigenous communities in central Mexico. Since the onset of COVID-19, organization leaders designed the Tayolchikawalis Initiative, which means “strong heart" in the Nahuatl language, to support over 40,000 indigenous families cope with the crisis. The initiative prioritized care for the 6,150 people who have a high-risk of severe illness from COVID-19, due to age or the presence of a chronic degenerative disease. By providing critical health information, strengthening food security in the region, and offering medical services in native languages, Fundación Tosepan is leaning heavily into a culture of mutual aid during a time where we are all stronger together. 
  • Fundación Comunitaria Oaxaca, A.C. is working to address the pandemic’s implications on local economies that were just beginning to reap the benefits of persistent long-term recovery efforts. Its initiative, “Sustainable Communities,” is ensuring that local artisan and producer networks are able to weather the crisis by providing funds to keep tortilla makers, bakers, and farmers in business.
  • Cántaro Azul, an experienced nonprofit leader working to bring clean water and improve sanitation in  the remote mountain communities of Chiapas, has activated its emergency response to help families safely access clean water and take extra sanitation measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

While communities around the world continue to tackle the COVID-19 crisis, thank you for your commitment to local, vetted organizations that are working to protect and heal their communities before, during, and long after a disaster. 

With gratitude,

Andrea + the GlobalGiving Team

Photo courtesy of Fundacion Tosepan
Photo courtesy of Fundacion Tosepan
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Centro para los derechos de la Mujer Naaxwin, A.C.
Centro para los derechos de la Mujer Naaxwin, A.C.

While natural disasters are inevitable, their long-term impacts are often amplified by pre-existing inequalities, marginalization, and environmental degradation.  When crisis-stricken communities have the power to make decisions at the local level throughout the recovery process, there is the opportunity to build resilience to the impact of future disasters. Now, almost three years after the devastating September 2017 earthquakes in Mexico, GlobalGiving’s locally led nonprofit partners continue to lead long-term recovery efforts by focusing on new models of collaboration, perspectives on gender roles, and interaction with the local environment. 

Thanks to your generous support of the Mexico Earthquake Relief Fund, GlobalGiving made a new series of grants at the start of 2020. Here are a few highlights of how our partners are already hard at work:

Stabilizing Livelihoods through New Economic Opportunities 

  • In response to the economic hardship faced by women affected by the 2017 earthquake in Oaxaca, Binni Bianniis rolling out a business model that incorporates market analysis, seed capital, and a prototype-based methodology allowing artisans to create and grow networks for hand-made huaraches (shoes).
  • Proyecto Impacto Consultores, A.C. is partnering with several local nonprofit organizations to carry out a variety of recovery projects in the state of Chiapas. For example, it is supporting the final repairs needed by several community schools along the coast of Chiapas. It is also contributing to the reconstruction efforts of a training center in Santiago el Pinar that is focused on integral development and leadership training for artisan women.

Ecological Resilience 

  • To conserve water resources in the face of longer drought periods in earthquake-impacted communities, Investigación y Soluciones Ambientals, A.C. is using cutting edge eco-technology and building a demonstration water harvesting system. Along with increasing local awareness about sustainable water management, the organization is protecting the groundwater supply of local communities through the provision of ecological toilets. 

Holistic Infrastructure Recovery

  • In the Istmo of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, where many homes collapsed or suffered serious damage, families also lost their work and inventory spaces. Espacio de Encuentro de las Culturas Originarias, A.C. is addressing this gap in recovery efforts by building three communal spaces in San Mateo del Mar, San Juan Guichicovi and Santiago Lachiguiri that will allow artisan women to work in safe working conditions and have a shared space for workshops and speaker series.
  • Centro para los Derechos de la Mujer Nääxwiin A.C. leads a reconstruction committee in Río Pachiñe, a community that faced so much devastation after the earthquake it seemed as though residents might have to relocate. This committee has not only brought hope back to Río Pachiñe, but it has transformed the way participants view their roles as leaders in their community: “Over these two years and 5 months of work, I have met many people, I’ve learned to offer my help, and now I know that there are many people who want to jump in and offer support when the need arises”- Edgar, Reconstruction Committee member

Thank you for your generous support of a community-led, long-term approach to disaster recovery.


Andrea + GlobalGiving Team 

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Photo from AYOK, A.C.
Photo from AYOK, A.C.

This past August, GlobalGiving’s Mexico Field and Evaluation Team traveled around the country to visit with our nonprofit partners and to experience firsthand the revitalization of communities affected by the 2017 Mexico Earthquakes. 

These visits, conducted by our incredible team of eight field travelers, were an invaluable opportunity to explore the progress achieved by our nonprofit partners in the two years since the disaster. All reports pointed to measurable successes made possible through recovery funds raised by GlobalGiving donors like you. 

From learning about the economic importance of traditional ovens in the Afro-Mexican community of Pinotepa Nacional to walking down a street filled with freshly-painted murals breathing life back into the earthquake-stricken Huejotengo, field travelers were met with stories of resilience in each location that they visited. Here’s what they’d like you to know about the project you’ve funded:

Centro de Accion para el Desarollo CODICE, Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca 

Current Project: Engaging the community in sustainable land-management practices, and recuperating economic losses after the earthquake through agroforestry production.

“At first, the local women I met with were reluctant to comment on the success of the program. As we began to visit the dozens of homes that were damaged or destroyed by the earthquake, the evidence of reconstruction was everywhere from wall reinforcements to complete home restoration. In this community, it is considered impolite to be self-congratulatory, and they preferred to let the tour of the completed work speak for itself.” 

  • Nicté Tellez

AYOK A.C., Huejotengo, Morelos

Current Project: Strengthening women’s economic empowerment post-disaster through furniture building workshops and a new entrepreneurship program designed to market avocados as the main economic good. 

“I was very impressed with the confidence and empowerment that AYOK has achieved in the community of Huejotengo. They have given hope to many that it is possible to prevent future destruction and recover from an event such as the 2017 earthquake.” 

  • Alejandra Avila 

Manos que Reconstruyen Oaxaca, A.C., Ixtaltepec, Oaxaca

Current Project: Preserving the Zapotec culture and revitalizing the local economy through the creation of neighborhood murals and organizing traditional crafts workshops in marginalized communities.

“Community members come together to complete service projects around the community, like cleaning up the local river. Service credits can then be used to learn skills and complete activities at the community center (like hammock weaving and pottery).  While the organization is relatively new (formed after the earthquakes), it is well-run and is well-respected by its constituents.” 

  • Chase Williams

Promotora de Servicios para el Desarrollo, S.C., Zacatepec Mixe, Oaxaca

Current Project: Risk mapping to reduce vulnerability to future disasters; diversifying and improving family income through cultivating a variety of crops.

“My visit to PRODER turned into a class immersed in the culture, geography, ecology, and tourism of the upper region of the Mixe mountain range. The knowledge that Fernando (Program Director) has to share and his rich, local expertise made this site visit an incredible experience.” 

  • Nicté Tellez

Thanks to your support of GlobalGiving projects like these we can fuel long-term recoveryof local communities affected by a disaster. That is why two years after the earthquake, with your help, we continue to build the capacity of our nonprofit partners in Mexico through grants, convening opportunities, knowledge sharing, and disaster preparedness workshops. 

Many thanks for your support,

Andrea Osorio + the GlobalGiving Team

Photo from Manos Que Reconstruyen, Oaxaca
Photo from Manos Que Reconstruyen, Oaxaca
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In the aftermath of the Mexico earthquakes that struck almost two summers ago, donors like you rushed to provide support to a region rocked by tragedy. While the funds raised came from all around the world, the recovery work of our partners is homegrown. 

Fundación Tosepan: Tamakepalis is Nahuatl for “mutual aid”. For many of the indigenous tribes in Oaxaca impacted by the earthquake, traditional values of community members helping one another are vital in the long-term reconstruction of their societies. Faced with the severe lack of government assistance after the disaster, and located in a mountainous region that is not easily accessible to large aid organizations, community leaders are taking a local approach to rebuilding. These attitudes are reflected in decisions made by consejos de barrios (neighborhood councils) on the upcoming timeline for the reconstruction of partially damaged homes.

Now in the long-term recovery phase,  Fundación Tosepan continues to work with neighborhood councils, university students, and local masons to rebuild homes using traditional adobe and seismic-resilient techniques. 

Manos Que Reconstruyen Oaxaca: One of the primary goals of rebuilding after a disaster is to ensure the economic reactivation of a community, an objective this nonprofit hopes to achieve through its traditional craft and agricultural production. Workshops focused on preserving the art of high quality shoe-making with recycled materials, and teaching families techniques for self-sufficient community gardens, all contribute to an economy that is bouncing back stronger than before the earthquake. 

Cooperación Comunitaria: After rebuilding 154 traditional ovens vital to the income of many women in the Isthmus de Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, Cooperacion Comunitaria took a community feedback approach to better assess the continued unmet needs 20 months after the disaster. Its findings proved that the spirit of communal work groups continue to underline the recovery process. In May, the women of the community organized a tequio (traditional work group) to host a celebration of local construction workers who worked incredibly hard to rebuild homes and centers of gathering.

This is just a snapshot of the amazing projects shaping the long-term recovery of regions affected by the 2017 earthquakes. Donations like yours continue to support local organizations in their mission to be led by traditional communal values, an approach that allows all members of the community to rebuild together. 


With gratitude,


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Photo from Manos Que Reconstruyen Oaxaca A.C.
Photo from Manos Que Reconstruyen Oaxaca A.C.

A year and a half ago, an 8.2-magnitude earthquake rocked Mexico and was followed just days later by a second, 7.1-magnitude quake. The devastation was widespread and the recovery is still ongoing—and donations like yours are making a difference.

This past October, GlobalGiving hosted our first class of Disaster Feedback Fellows, a group of ten leaders in disaster recovery who came to Washington, D.C. to attend and speak at the 2018 Feedback Summit, promote their disaster recovery projects to peers and funders, and to learn from other community response teams.

Take a look at what two of the Fellows are doing at organizations like Fondos Semillas to give women a voice in recovery and Cooperación Comunitaria to build back stronger and more resilient in Mexico!

Here’s a look at the work being done by GlobalGiving partners with your support:

Manos Que Reconstruyen Oaxaca, A.C. is hosting workshops for local women affected by the earthquakes to safeguard local knowledge and crafts as well as generate more income for themselves and their families in order to rebuild their homes.

Construyendo Comunidades Integrales, A.C. is harnessing the power of volunteers to join with their construction workers to rebuild a kindergarten classroom destroyed during the earthquakes. The materials used (galvanized steel wire of high strength) will provide a long term safe space for the students. They are also helping rebuild the homes of the Torres and Nava Juarez families.

Fundación San Ignacio de Loyola, A.C. is hosting community workshops and restoring the homes of 20 families. They are including each family in the design of their home through “participative construction” guided by construction specialists.

Fundación Comunitaria Oaxaca, A.C. is working to provide holistic disaster recovery from the reconstruction of homes to psychosocial support; from establishing detection, prevention, and response techniques to strengthening the local economy through small businesses.

Pro Ayuda a La Mujer Origen, A.C. is promoting psycho-emotional support, facilitating the reconstruction of housing, promoting sustainable economic growth through local artisanal textiles and embroidery, strengthening social bonds through meeting spaces and community input, and promoting community resilience through response plans and risk mapping.

IsraAID is further developing their Safe School program in which they support public school communities by providing a holistic, participatory and educational Disaster Risk Reduction approach and tools.

Thank you again for your generous support of the continuing work of helping communities in Mexico recover and rebuild. We're looking forward to sharing more stories of progress with you in the coming months.

With gratitude,
Belén + the GlobalGiving Team

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Location: Washington, D.C. - USA
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Twitter: @GlobalGiving
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$4,381,921 raised of $5,000,000 goal
21,243 donations
$618,079 to go
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