Mexico Earthquake Relief Fund

by GlobalGiving
Mexico Earthquake Relief Fund
Mexico Earthquake Relief Fund
Mexico Earthquake Relief Fund
Mexico Earthquake Relief Fund
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
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Sociedad Mexicana Pro Derechos de la Mujer
Sociedad Mexicana Pro Derechos de la Mujer

The impacts of the September 2017 earthquakes in Mexico did not simply come in the form of wreckage, destruction, and loss. The aftermath also galvanized female leaders across the country to be on the forefront of recovery. Sociedad Mexicana Pro Derechos de la Mujer (known as Fondo Semillas), one of GlobalGiving’s nonprofit partners in the country, created the “Women Rebuilding Their Communities” program to provide grants and technical assistance to grassroots women’s groups working on recovery efforts in their communities.

Thanks to your generous donation and commitment to long-term disaster recovery, GlobalGiving has been a substantial long-term contributor to the program. After more than three years of supporting 24 grassroots, women-led organizations, Fondo Semillas concluded its program just last month. You can read about the incredible success of the program here.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Alejandra, one of the community leaders supported by Fondo Semillas. Alejandra is a director of Una Mano Para Oaxaca (also a GlobalGiving nonprofit partner), an organization working in Ixtaltepec, Oaxaca—a town that was severely impacted by one of the 2017 earthquakes.

“Our dream is to see Ixtaltepec as a regional example of cultural sovereignty and social justice through personal and community development. We want our town to be capable of using its culture, as well as its ancestral and traditional knowledge, to generate a solid platform that will allow it to restore the community’s health. We plan to continue creating and sharing so we can repair the cracks in our community,” Alejandra said.

Thank you for choosing to support community-led disaster recovery in Mexico. After more than three years of funding long-term earthquake recovery, GlobalGiving will soon distribute our final round of funding and close this Fund. In months ahead, you will receive a final report highlighting all we have accomplished together.

With gratitude,
Chase + the GlobalGiving Team

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Photo courtesy of Manos Que Reconstruyen Oaxaca
Photo courtesy of Manos Que Reconstruyen Oaxaca

This past September marked the third anniversary of the pair of devastating earthquakes across central and southern Mexico. Much has changed since that time, including the current realities thrust upon the world by the COVID-19. What hasn’t changed is the dedication and hard work of the dozens of GlobalGiving’s local, community-led nonprofit partners in Mexico that continue, day in and day out, to meet the long-term recovery needs of communities impacted by the earthquakes.

Thanks to your incredible generosity and support for our Mexico Earthquakes Relief Fund, our nonprofit partners still lead the way on the long journey to recovery. Here is a snapshot of how your donation continues to help communities in Mexico impacted by the earthquakes of September 2017:

  • AYOK delivers high-quality workshops to families in Huejotengo in Morelos that saw more than 80 of their homes damaged or destroyed. The organization focuses on fostering economic reactivation in the community by offering carpentry workshops to women who can then apply their new skills to generate a side income and contribute to the overall reconstruction effort in Huejotengo led by the community.

  • Cooperación Comunitaria remains committed to reducing the vulnerability of communities impacted by the earthquakes. Working hand in hand with community members (with COVID-19 safety measures in place) in La Blanca, Oaxaca, the organization is constructing traditional kitchens and ovens and carrying out a natural assets recovery plan. Through participatory methods, Cooperación Comunitaria is ensuring that families in La Blanca have the tools and knowledge that they need to self-manage the natural environment around them in a sustainable way.
  • Manos Que Reconstruyen Oaxaca (Una Mano Para Oaxaca) centers its work on Indigenous knowledge to promote food security and strong mental and physical health for families still grappling with the long-term impacts of the earthquakes. Working in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Oaxaca, the organization is tapping into and preserving Indigenous knowledge, which is critical before, during, and after times of crisis. The organization has spent the last months training families in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec to create backyard gardens for self-consumption and, at the same time, how to avoid food waste by using every part of the flora growing in these gardens.

All of this critical work has been made possible by your donation. From everyone at GlobalGiving, thank you for joining with more than 18,000 people to drive long-term recovery in Mexico. We will be back in your inbox early next year to update you further about how your donation is making a difference in support of local, vetted nonprofit organizations.

With gratitude, 

Chase + the GlobalGiving Team

Photo courtesy of Cooperacion Comunitaria
Photo courtesy of Cooperacion Comunitaria
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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.

Sincerely,

Andrea + GlobalGiving Team 

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Organization Information

GlobalGiving

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

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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.

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

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