Mexico Earthquake Relief Fund

by GlobalGiving
Mexico Earthquake Relief Fund
Mexico Earthquake Relief Fund
Mexico Earthquake Relief Fund
Mexico Earthquake Relief Fund

Project Report | Sep 16, 2021
Thank you for fueling 4 years of recovery

By Chase Williams | Program Officer

Photo: Cooperacion Comunitaria
Photo: Cooperacion Comunitaria

Four years ago, two devastating earthquakes ripped through communities across central and southern Mexico. The loss and trauma the earthquakes caused can never be truly understood by those who live outside of these communities. Yet, you and more than 18,000 other people joined together in solidarity to raise more than $4.3 million in the immediate aftermath of the earthquakes and in the years since GlobalGiving launched the Mexico Earthquake Relief Fund.

The disaster recovery process for a community is never linear and can take many years before any sense of stability, safety, and restored livelihood is achieved. Thanks to your donation, GlobalGiving has been able to live up to its commitment of making long-term, flexible grants to a broad network of 32 community-led nonprofit partners based in earthquake-impacted communities to drive recovery and resilience to future disasters. These trusted partners have been on the front lines of serving their communities since those first terrible days after the earthquakes in September 2017. And they remain hard at work to this day, in part, because of you.

As we now close our Mexico Earthquake Relief Fund, I’d like to share five incredible highlights that are a direct result of your generosity:

  1. At every step and despite immense obstacles, women have driven the recovery process in earthquake-impacted communities in Mexico. Too often, women are excluded from decision-making and leadership, but including women makes entire communities more resilient. Our partners at Fondo Semillas, Centro para los Derechos de la Mujer Nääxwiin, Fundación Origen, Alianza Cívica Pinotepa Nacional, Una Mano Para Oaxaca, and Crea Comunidades de Emprendedores Sociales center women in their recovery work. Una Mano Para Oaxaca, for example, has created a vibrant community center on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, an area heavily devastated by one of the earthquakes. There, women can gather for workshops about traditional crafts and artisan techniques to increase their incomes and preserve their cultural legacies. This center will continue to be a community hub for earthquake recovery in the years ahead.

  2. Indigenous communities use deep-rooted knowledge to drive long-term recovery and resilience to future disasters. Our partners at Cooperación Comunitaria are leaders in social reconstruction using community knowledge and culturally relevant participatory methods. The organization works hand in hand with local communities in Oaxaca to reimagine what real disaster recovery looks like when reconstructing homes, ovens, and kitchens with traditional techniques and local materials. For example, Cooperación Comunitaria has enabled hundreds of women to rebuild their traditional ovens and kitchens so these women could once again make and sell totopos. The traditional type of tortilla, originating from the Zapotec people on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, is an important driver of household income in these communities. This long-term rebuilding work in response to the earthquakes earned Cooperación Comunitaria the Transformative Cities Peoples’ Choice Award in 2019.

  3. Earthquakes do not only leave destruction across the physical landscape. They also damage the cultural fabric of communities in impacted areas. Our partners at Proyecto Impacto Consultores have been hard at work over the past four years to protect and preserve unique artisan legacies in Chiapas and Oaxaca. In the aftermath of the earthquakes, the organization rebuilt a local educational center in Zinacantán in partnership with a grassroots artisan women’s collective. This allowed the children of the artisan women in the area to return to a safe schooling environment so the women could continue creating textiles.

  4. Shifting power and resources to the people most impacted by a problem builds trust and ownership in solutions. You can’t beat the wisdom of the community itself. That’s why the GlobalGiving team trusted its nonprofit partners to come together in April 2019 to select one of their peers to receive a flexible grant of $10,000 to accelerate their earthquake recovery work. Ultimately, the group of 14 organizations chose Centro para los Derechos de la Mujer Nääxwiin, a grassroots feminist organization led mainly by Indigenous women in the highlands of the southern state of Oaxaca. With these funds, the organization expanded its advocacy for the rights of members of the Rio Pachiñé community where the Chiapas earthquake destroyed 80% of homes and public buildings.

  5. Regionally focused, local foundations are critical drivers of disaster relief and recovery. These organizations not only have long-term relationships with networks of grassroots organizations on the front lines of disaster response, but they also have a much clearer understanding of local contexts and needs than those based outside of an impacted region. For this reason, GlobalGiving established a hugely successful partnership with Fundación Comunitaria Oaxaca (Oaxaca Community Foundation). With 25 years of experience serving communities across Oaxaca, the organization was well-placed to respond immediately and in the long term to the earthquakes. With support from GlobalGiving, the organization has invested in building the programmatic and operational capacity of nearly a dozen grassroots groups based in earthquake-impacted communities.

Though we are now closing this fund, these trusted nonprofit partners in Mexico remain hard at work. They need your support to continue the long journey to full recovery, especially given the compounding effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage you to explore our partners’ pages linked above and, if you are able, consider making a donation to fuel their critical efforts.

From everyone at GlobalGiving, thank you for joining us in this important work. Your generosity and support have driven community-led disaster recovery in Mexico.

With immense gratitude, 

Chase + the GlobalGiving Team

P.S. We invite you to learn even more here about the amazing GlobalGiving nonprofit partners driving long-term earthquake recovery.

Photo: Fondo Semillas
Photo: Fondo Semillas
Photo: Proyecto Impacto Consultores
Photo: Proyecto Impacto Consultores
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

Feb 26, 2021
You're part of the story of women-led recovery in Mexico

By Chase Williams | Program Officer

Nov 16, 2020
Your donation is driving long-term recovery in Mexico

By Chase Williams | Program Officer

About Project Reports

Project reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you can recieve an email when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports without donating.

Sign up for updates

Organization Information


Location: Washington, D.C. - USA
EIN: 30-0108263

Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @GlobalGiving

About GlobalGiving’s Disaster Response

When a disaster strikes, recovery efforts led by people who live and work in affected communities are often overlooked and underfunded. GlobalGiving is changing this reality. Since 2004, we've been shifting decision-making power to crises-affected communities through trust-based grantmaking and support.

We make it easy, quick, and safe to support people on the ground who understand needs in their communities better than anyone else.

They were there long before the news cameras arrived, and they’ll be there long after the cameras leave. They know how to make their communities more resilient to future disasters, and they’re already hard at work. GlobalGiving puts donations and grants directly into their hands. Because the status quo—which gives the vast majority of funding to a few large organizations—doesn’t make sense.

Learn more

Questions about this project? Contact us

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

Still want to help?

Support another project run by GlobalGiving that needs your help, such as:

Find a Project

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Get incredible stories, promotions, and matching offers in your inbox

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.