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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Update from Ecuador, 3 days post earthquake

Since I have received dozens of concerned messages from friends and family around the globe, I figured I should let everyone know what is happening here on the ground. We had a massive 7.8 earthquake here (and several smaller), Saturday night. We at Terra Nova de Corazón are 5 hours south of the epicenter, but it took down buildings and highways 10 hours away. Ecuador hadn't seen a quake like this for 40 years.
We are safe here in Manglaralto, although all three of our buildings withstood some structural damage, which will need repair - including our new bamboo house* in the trees, scheduled to be completed this week. What Terra Nova is offering to the cause is *housing (hoping to find a family or two who needs a safe place until they can rebuild their lives) & some produce from our orchard. It occurs to me that if everyone in Ecuador who has a spare room or apartment could offer it to a family in need, everyone would be better off. I am slowed down by the broken foot I sustained while rescuing a small goat from the jaws of a street dog two weeks ago, but my support network is strong, and I will be eternally grateful to them.
In case your local news outlets are not showing the extent of the damage, I have included a photo album that depicts it quite well. This is a serious crisis for a country already hard hit by economic decline (due in no small part to declining oil prices and tourism). The annual income here is under $6k/year. Outdated and ill-maintained infrastructure leads to even greater suffering in a time of natural disaster. 
I'm a longtime member of Pachamama Alliance, so if you feel compelled to give financially, please do so here: http://www.pachamama.org/pa/ecuador-earthquake-relief (They've already met their goal, but I know all of the funds will make it to the relief effort.)
If you want to help me & Terra Nova personally, all we really need are hands. If any more (thank you, Amanda!) of my generous, skilled, hardworking friends want to take a working vacation in South America...now would be a great time. You know I'll feed you well.