Welcome to the Newsletter which keeps you up to date with everything that has been going on lately in the Martin Chambers Ecuador Trust charity. In this edition we are remembering the devastation that was caused in Ecuador in April of last year when an earthquake struck the northern region of the country. There is a report on how the Trust has been helping the victims of the earthquake in the immediate aftermath but also how it proposes to continue providing help where needed. Of course, the Trust continues to focus on the community of Nueva Prosperina and the Sagrada Familia School. There is ongoing support by the Trust for the children’s education, the Soup Kitchen and for wider community programmes.
The Newsletter contains other news: about the Trust’s friend, Jose Luis, was ordained a priest last November; and about a community near Guayaquil city which experiences flooding every day of the year. I also hope that, by reading this Newsletter, you will be encouraged to continue to think about the needy of our world and to stretch out a helping hand …
People of the Earthquake Zone
While we are tucking into our Easter eggs this coming Easter Sunday (March 16th), our friends in Ecuador will be marking the first anniversary of the earthquake that devastated the northern region of the country. On my recent visit I managed to spend several days visiting families who had been affected by the tragedy. Let me tell you the stories of a few of the people I met …
On my first day there, I was the guest of Padre Vicente Saltos, the Parish Priest of one of the towns that has been torn apart. I asked him what actually happened the night of the earthquake and what was it like to be caught up in it. He took me to his own house where he related the story of that night. He had been upstairs getting ready for the 7pm Saturday Vigil Mass. Suddenly everything started shaking and he realised it was the ‘real’ earthquake.’
He stood up and tried to escape but he was thrown to the ground unable to move. He managed to crawl over to the door, where he remained in case the building collapsed. The house shook violently from side to side and the ground moved up and down both of which caused terrible destruction. As Padre Vicente described that night, I could only imagine so much movement, both building and ground that it would have been like trying to crawl out of the waltzers at the showground.
- After 57 seconds, the earthquake stopped.
- 57 seconds and hundreds of lives were lost.
- 57 seconds and buildings were razed to the ground.
- It will take, I think, a generation before communities are restored.