“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
The Ecuador Earthquake Recovery Fund (EERF) is the kind of community response that takes this quote off the page and puts it into action. After the recent earthquake on Ecuador’s coast, a network of key players sprang to life and began contacting friends and associates around the world in order to raise funds. Galapagos Safari Camp has been actively involved since its inception.
That first effort succeeded, and at the time of writing more than $80,000 has been raised to help communities on the coast that are still emerging from the rubble. Today, the people behind the EERF are planning to put the fund to its best use, consulting experts and focusing on providing housing and water to those in need.
This is a critical stage of the recovery effort, since there are areas that help still hasn’t reached, and our focus has shifted to rebuilding. With this in mind, our collective of likeminded entrepreneurs is creating an innovative plan that addresses the immediate needs and long-term sustainability of the target areas.
The team members all have talents that are being used to find the right solution to the challenges on the coast. The EERF has partnered with Waves for Water to provide filters and support to those who need it. Members who have designed and built buildings in hard to reach places in Ecuador are meeting with teams of designers to discuss housing options and building materials. Others are working with communities to pair their needs with the resources that they can provide, sourcing fish for Quito restaurants from coastal villages or creating a plan for bringing tourism to the target areas.
The vision is to proactively invest in an area where the funds raised are used to make an impact. To take a small village and provide housing that can be built upon in the future, working with the community long-term.
Experts are being consulted to help find the crucial balance between providing relief and effectively meeting the challenges of the future. The goal is to find those whose experience can help, while steering the funds raised towards the rebuilding effort and not costly overheads.
All of us in Ecuador are incredibly appreciative of the generosity of those who have donated money to help in the recovery effort. During our initial period of planning we have realized that our fundraising efforts need to continue for the project to succeed. We also are looking for partners who can lend their expertise to the execution of our plan.
In addition to updating you on the EERF’s latest developments, we are also asking for assistance. We’re striving to help as much as possible, and as time passes we still need to reach out to those who can donate their time or money to Ecuador. Please take a minute to share this with your network and get in touch if you or someone you know has experience and/or resources that can make a difference.