In April 2016, 28-year-old Esperanza’s life completely changed. Just like any other day, she woke up in her home with her husband and 3 children in the coastal area of Pedernales. It was an average morning in April, and yet, in a matter of seconds, her life was quite literally torn apart.
When the earthquake struck, Esperanza’s family was inside their home. The strength of the earthquake was immense, and despite reacting as quickly as they could, her husband was killed during the tremors, leaving Esperanza and her three children (ages 10, 9, and 3) alive and alone amidst what used to be their home. Their lives will never be the same; in fact, life hasn’t even begun to feel normal again even 6 months after because they still lack a permanent shelter to call home.
Esperanza did not only lose her husband and her home, along with life as she knew it. Prior to the earthquake, Esperanza helped clean local hotels in the area and her husband was a fisherman. Since the earthquakes severely damaged all the hotels, she is left without work.
When earthquakes of this magnitude strike, or disasters of any kind, relief floods in, NGOs start heading to affected areas in throngs (if locals are lucky), and news media spreads the word about stories of devastation as well as survival. However, it has been 6 months since the 7+ earthquake struck Ecuador, and coverage of the aftermath has all but disappeared. While families and entire communities struggle to rebuild their lives, the earthquake in Ecuador is hardly talked about, only vividly remembered by those who can still recall the reports they saw or stories they read.
For survivors, recovery is a long, excruciating process. It isn’t just homes that must be rebuilt, there are schools, stores, and other key institutions still attempting to reestablish their presence in communities. Needless to say, there is still much to be done in Ecuador.
Esperanza and her children have been living in a temporary shelter since the earthquake. Her children need a safe environment to recover in, and to grow and flourish in.
All donations made to our Ecuador Earthquake Relief Campaign will be sent to New Horizons, and NGO based near Esperanza’s home, so they can assist her in the rebuilding her home and starting over. Home is where new life begins, and we are so thankful to all who have donated to support Esperanza and her children.