Ecuador Needs Our Help
Natural disasters have a way of mobilizing people to action and history tells us that when an earthquake or hurricane strikes Latin America, Latino communities respond quickly and generously. They gather food and clothes. Collect medical supplies and raise money for reconstruction. That’s what happened when Hurricane Hugo tore through Puerto Rico in 1989 and when Hurricane Georges devastated the Dominican Republic in 1998. In times of need in Latin America, Latinos in our area are quick to provide relief.
Nearly 500,000 Ecuadoreans live in the United States. That means that when a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Ecuador on April 16th the reverberations were felt thousands of miles away in our local Ecuadorean communities. And like generations of Latinos before them, the Ecuadoreans of our area have answered the call to help their homeland.
Hispanic Federation has joined these efforts and created Unidos por Ecuador/United for Ecuador, a fund designed to collect donations for UNICEF which will provide urgent relief and sustained support on the ground in Ecuador. Last month, we worked with local leaders in Queens to organize a “Queens for Ecuador” benefit event that raised over $10,000 for relief efforts.
On May 17th we participated in the Latino Networks Coalition's Ecuador Relief Aid Fundraiser and Auction at the iconic Copacabana Night Club in midtown Manhattan. More than $5,000 dollars were raised at the event to help with relief efforts.
As we move further away from April 16th, media attention on Ecuador will likely fade. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the needs of thousands of Ecuadoreans who face difficult odds to rebuild their communities, their homes, and their livelihoods. Now, more than ever, we must come together as community to help Ecuador rebuild.