EPES’ Post-Earthquake Efforts

Hello friends of AHA and EPES! As we’ve been updating our website, we seem to have lost our two most recent posts about the work EPES was doing with recovery from the September 2015 earthquake and tsunami that impacted Chile. You can view the letter from Dr. Lautaro Lopez, two reports, and photos below!

September 18th Earthquake Report

September 24 Earthquake Report

Surveying impact in Tongoy 2015-09-16 Earthquake Monica interviewing Roxanna Coquimbo coastal region

TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL SPANISH LANGUAGE LETTER

September 17, 2015

Dear Friends of EPES,

I write to express immense gratitude for the scores of messages of solidarity that began reaching us immediately, minutes after last night´s earthquake, as well as the offers to help us respond collectively to the latest disaster to affect Chile.  Yesterday was such a terrible day; when the earth began to move, at once everyone remembered the devastating earthquake of 2010 that impacted much of our country. Last night’s earthquake was the world’s worst so far this year, reaching 8.4 on the Richter scale. It is reported to be one of the 30 largest earthquakes ever to strike anywhere in the world. Chile also holds another unfortunate record with the earthquake/tsunami of 1960 in the southern region that surpassed 9 on the Richter scale.

In light of the extensive suffering, fear and stress these events have produce – even though we are the world’s most seismic country we never get used to earthquakes – I would like to share with you what we have been doing. Today we began a process to assess with greater precision the urgent needs of northern Chile, while also identifying and communicating with interfaith networks of the zone with whom we can coordinate and develop an initial work plan.

Initially, I contacted all institutional members of the ACT Alliance Forum, comprised of interfaith groups that responded to the earthquake/tsunami of 2010 in the central-southern region. Unfortunately, I only achieved a partial response, probably due to Chile’s Independence Day festivities and long holiday weekend now upon us.

Subsequently, I persisted in communicating with other agencies experienced in emergency work, specifically the Methodist Humanitarian Assistance Team of the Methodist Church of Chile (EMAH Chile). Next week, together with the other ACT member organizations we will develop a work proposal to enable us to support the most affected zone. We will explore the possibility of working with two organizations with which we have worked in past emergency situations, namely, EMAH Chile and CEDM (Diego de Medellin Ecumenical Center). With these two groups we hope to design a project employing the psychosocial community-based support strategy in the recovery and prevention phases in the most devastated area (Choapa Province).

In addition, Karen Anderson has spoken to IELCH Bishop Izani Brunch who expressed interest in joining EPES and ACT efforts. The EPES staff has proposed contributing initial funds for conducting an on-site assessment. A community health promoter trained by EPES with experience from our work in Valparaiso after the fire as well as post disaster work will coordinate the assessment. A key player will be former EPES health promoter  now living in Tongoy, one of the most affected coast communities. The assessment will be conducted with women who had modest work stands and lost everything in yesterday’s tsunami. On the basis of their assessment, EPES will develop a proposal to present to ELCA and other possible funding sources.

Lastly, on behalf of the EPES staff, we wish to express our most heartfelt thanks to all our friends as well as the solidarity institutions that give of their time, concern and have decided to provide support in this situation. Your efforts will help overcome the material and psychosocial damage affecting our communities, especially the most vulnerable members of society.

Warmly,

Dr. Lautaro Lopez

EPES Concepcion and ACT Chile

Almost four years later…

Our first blog post focused on the immediate post-earthquake work EPES was engaging in in and around Concepcion, Chile.  Who would have thought that it would take over three and a half years (the earthquake occurred February 27, 2013) for the residents of the seaside villages – whose homes were destroyed by the tsunami – to finally move back to permanent homes??? While it has been a long journey, it has been one that has highlighted the power of community action. Finally, the families who have been living in emergency camps and temporary housing recently moved to their brand new homes:

Residents moving to new homes

 

 

In the photo you can see the houses and a group of people as they walked up the first day to see their new houses. In early December, EPES is having a celebration to commemorate their almost four years living in the emergency camps and their work together to defend the health and dignity of their families and community. EPES will continue working with the Health and Environment Committees as they face the new challenges of living in their new community with over 400 families from different emergency camps.

 

Faith and Solidarity in Chile

By Kathryn Lawler

South America Coordinator, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Chile’s earthquake and the tsunami destroyed or severely damaged nearly 200,000 homes. Tens of thousands of families are living in provisional camps like this one




The earthquake and tsunami that struck Chile on February 27, 2010, highlighted deep social inequalities in a country often considered a Latin American development success story.  Land tenancy issues and the lack of affordable housing and dignified work threaten to prolong the stay of approximately 50,000 displaced families living in “temporary” camps of wooden emergency houses with no heat or running water.  As a community worker in one of the camps stated, “the history of temporary, emergency camps in Chile shows that people end up living there long-term because they have no where else to go.”

Such precarious living conditions are a recent memory for Villa Cordillera, a low-income community in Santiago that organized a remarkable campaign to collect food and clothing for earthquake and tsunami survivors.  Less than four years ago, this community was living in Campamento Peñalolén, a shanty-town built over a landfill in Santiago.  In their case, however, the cause of these precarious living conditions was not a natural disaster but rather chronic and structural poverty.  Through a government relocation and low interest mortgage program, 365 families moved to Villa Cordillera in 2006 after 7 years in the camp.  But life continues to be tough.  Residents struggle to make ends meet with minimum wage jobs as garbage collectors, housekeepers, construction workers, and market vendors.  Their own resource scarcity, however, did not keep them from sharing abundantly.




With the truck carrying donations from Villa Cordillera in the background, Soledad Puebla (left) talks with leaders at a camp where the IELCH is providing emergency assistance and pastoral care near the coastal city of Coronel.




Villa Cordillera’s campaign to help earthquake survivors was the inspiration of Soledad Puebla, Director of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chile (IELCH)’s El Sembrador Community and Day Care Center who says:  “We could not just stand there with our arms crossed watching the news reports about the hardship of our brothers and sisters in the south.  We had to step up and act in solidarity as others did for us when we were in a similar situation.”  From their community office, part of which still operates out of the emergency plywood structure from Campamento Peñalolén, Soledad, neighborhood leaders, parents and staff from the day care center amassed the community’s donations.  They walked through the streets with bullhorns, knocked on doors and left boxes to collect donations at local schools.  The campaign closed on May 1 with a street festival of dance, music and community celebration.  Soledad, her husband Tulio, and other communities leaders soon set off on the three hundred mile journey south in a large truck filled with the donated clothing, food, cleaning supplies, toys, and nylon covering for the emergency housing.  Soledad recalls: “When we got to the camps we cried because we remembered our

own history.  We urged camp leaders never to underestimate what they can do when they unite around a common cause.  And what better way to remind ourselves of that message than the success of our community mobilization for this campaign!”



Update on Work in the Campamento in Penco, Chile

By Scott Duffus

I just returned from a week and a half in Chile where I spend time at the campamento in Penco.  It was a privilege to see EPES’ community building work in action!   If you are interested in more details about my time there take a look at my blog, (there are 9 posts starting on May 20th).   I remember Karen Anderson telling me that the coldest she has ever been was in Santiago in winter.    I believe her now.  It is cold in Concepción in May and the middle of winter does not come till July.

The temporary housing called Mediaguas, which were provided by the government are small and come with no windows or doors;  no provisions for heat, water, or insulation;  they have roofs that leak, and the siding is what I would loosely describe as board and batten but the wood must have been green when they were assembled because the siding boards warp so that there are gaps which let in the wind and water.  Here is a video of one of Sandra Mora, one of the community leaders in the Campamento and her observations about her new “home.”

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFdJ9c0nWv4&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0]

EPES did a community assessment to determine what needed most by the community and who needed it.  They determined that better roofing material was vital, as were insulation panels.  EPES purchased corrugated galvanized panels and nails with rubber washers for roofs. I installed a couple of those new roofs myself, but there were plenty of others who were doing that work in the campamento.  It really wasn’t about getting a guy from Minnesota to do some work in Chile– it is about EPES being able to provide the community with the right resources to solve their own problems.  The insulation which EPES is providing is another example of a well thought out plan.  When I got there there were plenty of piles of 1″ polystyrene foam around, and I was thinking “Hmmm– this might not be the best option unless it is covered” (polystyrene is flammable).  The insulation that EPES is providing is pre-attached to flame retardant panels.

Here is another video of Sandra a few weeks later when some of the weatherization has been done on her home:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwES7gKc_j8&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0]

There Is Still Much That Needs To Be Done In Concepción

By Scott Duffus

My friend Karen Anderson tells me that there are still people living in tents and in emergency housing in and around Concepción.  Last night’s rain thoroughly drenched them.  She tells me it is a sad and frustrating time, as winter sets in and many have still not been able to winterize their damaged home for lack of resources.  It has taken longer than we had hoped to raise funds for this vital help.  Take a look at this video that we put together and if it is possible for you to contribute to this effort, please press the donate button to the left.  Thank you for support.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=if6GV-3v-U4&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0]

Earthquake 2010: EPES/Mercy Corps Training –Helping Children Heal & EPES Visit to Emergency Campamento

Eric Gives a session

Eric Gives a Session

by Karen Anderson & Lezak Shallat, Fundación EPES

Friday, April 16, Hualpén, Chile — The EPES Center is humming with activity. In its community hall and playground, scores of school teachers, psychologists, social workers and community leaders are crawling, jumping, pulling, pushing and cheering one another in games with names like Treasure Chest and Streets and Avenues.

It lifts my heart to hear these laughs and shouts. Six weeks ago in this same playground, we were distributing emergency health kits and water to stunned families in a state of shock. Their homes and livelihoods had collapsed or been washed out to sea, looting was rampant and an 18 hour curfew was in place.

Today is the third and final day of the Mercy Corps training sessions here at the EPES Center in Concepción, in Hualpén, one of many Chilean cities devastated by the Feb 27 earthquake and tsunami.

Trainers Eric Loc and Fabian Vinces worked with children after Peru’s 2007 earthquake. As this was their first visit to Chile, they spent a week visiting the areas hardest hit by the catastrophe and adapting the Mercy Corp programs to central and southern Chile’s triple  disaster of earthquake,  tidal wave and unrest.

Children participating in sessions

Children Participating in Sessions

They brought with them two programs: “Comfort 4 Kids,” based on storytelling, for children age 7 to 10, and Hacia Adelante (Moving Forward) based on games and sports, for children age 10 to 14.

One of the first changes to be made was the name of program. EPES adopted the term “recuperación emocional” (emotional recovery) to describe these new programs for psycho-social support to children to deal with post-earthquake trauma. But we were so taken with the idea of providing comfort that we packed the “Telling My Story” workbook into a backpack with crayons, toothpaste, toothbrush, a flashlight and a stuffed animal toy for each child.

The second program, “Hacia Adelante” (Moving  Forward), uses games and sports to reach out to children ages 10 to 14.  As I write this, the EPES office in Hualpén is jammed with tote bags of soccer balls, volley balls, marbles, nets, cones, jerseys, caps and a referee’s whistle – a full kit for every adult  mentor who promises to reach out to children  here, in Coronel, Penco, San Pedro and Talcahuano.

At the end of today’s training session, 55 enthusiastic mentors have signed up to work with young neighbors and students over 10 weeks of exploration and expression to dissipate frightening memories and lingering fears.

Maria Herrera, paramedic and health promoter from Huachicoop, will work through her Junta de Vecinos at the local community center. She is excited about the Mi Historia del Terremoto y Maremoto de Chile (¨My story of the Earthquake and Tsunami in Chile¨) the twice-weekly workshop for younger children to narrate and illustrate their own stories of fright, hurt  and  confusion, as well as their  dreams and realizations. Fabian Vinces, the therapist in charge of the training, says that narration is vital to recovery because, “what is unspoken remains unresolved.”  By writing their own stories, “children recover a sense of what is their own, because they lost everything and now have to share everything.”

Boys Focus Group

Boys Focus Group

“Children cannot always explain their feelings, and adults are too preoccupied to listen,” Maria believes. One of the children she wants to see participate is her grand-daughter, whose house in Santa Clara, Talcahuano was flooded by the tsunami.

Adriana Maureira comes from Penco’s Población Baquedano, in Cerro Verde Alto, is President of the Hospital Penco Lirquén community council. Among the children she believes will benefit from mentoring is a 12-year-old granddaughter who continues to vomit and cannot be left alone since the quake yanked her from sleep, bed and home in late February.

Early in the sessions, conducted in the EPES Community Hall from April 14 to 16, these 55 mentors-in-training shared their own stories of shock, grief, escape and survival. Behind the common denominator of loss, their stories tell how, as in Tolstoy, every family lives disaster in its own way. All continue to live with its consequences, both material and in strained family relations due to sudden joblessness or sharing living quarters with relatives and strangers. In La Higuera, 50 families from the low-lying Penco neighborhoods of Gente de Mar, Cerro Verde Bajo and Playa Negra live one-room wooden boxes  with wide open slats and no windows, already defenseless against the coming cold winter rains and wind.

Like Sandra Mora and Zunilda Barrales, who lives with her 104-year-old grandmother Maria Luisa Calfuqueo, the women here have reacted with strength and intelligence to the disaster that swept them off the coastal strip and onto the Cerro del Cura hill and a camp of emergency media aguas across in the elegantly-named Villa Bosquemar across from what is possibly the only church left standing in the La Higuera.  Like most women, they feel they must hold in their own grief for the sake of others more vulnerable than themselves, and especially their children.

EPES will be working with Villa Bosquemar  to help residents winterize their “temporary”  homes (Sandra Mora shudders at the government’s estimate of a three-year wait before being considered for permanent housing), with material support. EPES will also help them to equip the community hall and train residents in basic first aid and other health care skills, including prevention of the respiratory illnesses that the crude Southern Chile winter always brings.

Mediagua in Campamento Bosquemar in Penco where EPES is working

Mediagua in Campamento Bosquemar in Penco where EPES is working

Amazingly, there is no self pity here.  Only a sense — with the earth still shaking noticeably several times a day — of security randomly shattered and immense vulnerability.  This glimpse of fragility behind the face of stoical Fuerza Chile (“Chile Be Strong”) and similar public campaigns reaffirms something important: we cannot dismiss the emotional impacts of the quake, even if the rubble is now being cleared and a certain pretense of normality restored.

The two programs will be conducted in schools, community halls, churches and playgrounds over the next three months. After that, they can be replicated among the families, women and others who need to process their earthquake experiences through self expression or team work. To accompany the process, EPES has hired Zicri Orellana, a community psychologist and University of Concepcion lecturer experienced with youth, thanks to a grant from the SEIU 1199 Health Workers Union of New York State.

Games And Sports Help Children Recover Emotional Health After Chile’s Earthquake And Tsunami

By Karen Anderson

The three month program starts this week and will help 1300 kids and adolescents from Hualpén, Coronel, Penco, San Pedro  y Talcahuano

Concepción, VIII Región (April 14, 2010) – Two programs aimed at returning emotional peace of mind to kids and adolescents affected by the earthquake begin this week in Concepción. These programs are lead by EPES, a community organization that has been working to promote health and dignity in the poor sectors of the area for almost 30 years.

“Our children need help,” notes Dr. Lautaro López, the director of EPES Concepción. “Their worlds and homes have collapsed and they are deeply frightened – they are scared of the aftershocks, the treacherous ocean, of living in their wrecked homes or of having to spend the winter in a plastic tent in a camp.”

Two psychologists who worked with children after Peru’s 2007 earthquake are in charge of training the first group of 60 facilitators. By using stories, games and sports, the facilitators will counteract the psychological harms that Chile’s earthquake has caused.

The program will involve elementary and pre-school teachers, social workers, parents and guardians of public school students, volunteers, municipal services, NGOs and community organizations in Hualpén, Coronel, Penco, San Pedro y Talcahuano.

In the program Mi Historia del Terremoto y Maremoto de Chile (My story of the Earthquake and Tsunami in Chile), 7 to 10 year old kids will narrate and color a workbook with their own experiences, dreams, fears, and lessons learned.  Fabian Vinces, the therapist in charge of the training, notes that narration is vital to recovery because, “What is unspoken remains unresolved.”By writing their own stories, “children recover a sense of what is their own, because they lost everything and now have to share everything.”

Along with the workbook, every child will receive a new backpack with pencils, erasers, a stuffed animal and a small flashlight to scare away the monsters under their beds.

For 10 to 14 year old children, the program Hacia Adelante (Moving Forward) offers support through games and sports. The facilitators will work with groups of 10 to 12 kids in sport clubs, youth groups, church groups and other community organizations. Each facilitator of the sports activities will receive a kit with soccer and volleyball balls, a net, cones to outline court boundaries, marbles and team shirts. The kit also includes a whistle and baseball cap for the trainer.

The program will begin with weekly sessions for the next three months. After this pilot experience, EPES will be able to repeat the program throughout the year.  After an earthquake, leaving children without treatment and support can cause serious harm as they can develop regressive or anti-social behavior, depression, aggression and school problems.

Mercy Corps, the humanitarian organization working with EPES in this initiative (www.mercycorps.org), developed this methodology to help the children of NYC recover after the September 11 terrorist attacks. The program subsequently helped children and their families in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and in Peru (2007), China (2008), and in Haiti (2010) after their respective earthquakes.

EPES Steadfast On Shaking Ground

When the ground began to shake in southern Chile on February 27, one of the strongest earthquake ever recorded, EPES was already steady on the ground. With nearly 30 years’ experience mobilizing local communities to defend the rights of the poor to health and dignity, EPES was immediately on hand to respond with humanitarian aid and community organization.

Washed up Fishing Boat in Penco

Washed up fishing Boat in Penco

The EPES Center in Concepción, built in 2005, withstood the quake with only minor damage. Surrounded by collapsed structures on all sides, it quickly became the hub of help and hope.

From day one, EPES could rely on strong, long-standing relations with local individuals, families, organizations and public services in order to get to work. Within 24 hours, the EPES Center had obtained an emergency generatorand was pumping water from the building’s underground well for some 300 families.

Within days, it had mobilized its network of community health promoters to identify priority needs in neighborhoods still lacking power and water, barricaded against outbreaks of looting and shut down by 18-hour curfews.

The earthquake and its aftermaths have shattered many illusions that Chileans, and the world, hold about this class-divided society fragmented along social, as well as geographical, fault lines. EPES’ response to the

Damaged Home in Penco

Damaged Home in Penco

catastrophe and its aftershocks exemplifies the assessment of the Chilean Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (ACCION) that community efforts are the key to providing “urgent, rapid and creative responses to the social crisis that millions of families are experiencing.”

The ground is still shaking, both literally and figuratively, and geologists predict that the aftershocks will continue for months to come. EPES, however, is steadfast in its historic work of building from the ground up, fostering and regenerating spaces for participation and collective action and recovery.

REBUILDING PENCO, HAND-TO-HAND

Like many coastal towns, the city of Penco – located about 10 km from the EPES Concepción Center – was most vulnerable to the disaster but
least prepared for it.

Most families in Penco draw their sustenance from the sea. Even before the catastrophe, one-in-five residents were living in poverty, by government
estimate.

The earthquake and tsunami washed away their livelihoods, wrecking houses, boats and nets, docks and warehouses, shops and restaurants. Nearly one-third of the workforce now finds itself unemployed. One thousand houses were flattened or flooded in this city of 50,000 residents. Some of the homeless are living in tents next to the piles of debris on their plots. Others are being housed in temporary shelters. As the cold and rains of the winter in the Southern Hemisphere approach, the need for permanent housing grows more urgent by the day. Permanent housing for families in Penco is one of the priorities that EPES will focus on over coming months.

Elderly Women in Penco

Elderly Women in Penco

Reconstruction has already begun on 40 houses and two community centers.EPES is working with families to repair structures that can be salvaged and to build as many new homes as funding will allow. Community members supply the labor for their own houses and for the houses of those – like the elderly and mothers with small children – who need a helping hand. To assist the community take stock of its possibilities and its needs, the EPES health team conducted a door-to-door survey of the affected areas.

EPES’ previous work in Penco helped to overcome obstacles of fear and distrust, opening doors to help and hope.  It is almost impossible to not be overwhelmed by the scale of the destruction in these poor communities. The EPES vision of community participation and empowerment converts short-term emergency aid and charity into long-term assistance, accompaniment and transformation. Your contribution will help EPES help these communities to rebuild themselves.

A Volunteers View: Report From the Relief Effort

By Josh Prudowsky

Josh is a health educator from Chicago (USA), he travelled to the EPES Center in Concecpión in mid-March as a volunteer. This is his report.

March 17, 2010 — I had been living in Valparaiso for several months when the earthquake hit. I immediately contacted EPES, which I had gotten to know in January as a participant in their two-week international course. In fact, I had visited the EPES Center in Concepcion as part of the course and had already met the staff and community there.
I was confident that whatever task they put me to, EPES would be on the ground supporting the affected communities. They would be working not only to address the immediate emergency but also to rebuild and strengthen social organizations for the long term.

We travelled all night to reach the EPES Center Concepción, traversing makeshift roads to circumvent damaged highways all along the way. My fellow volunteer was Mónica Maldonado, a community organizer from the northern city of Iquique who trained as one of EPES first health promoters back in the 1980s.
Five minutes after we arrived, I was put to work loading boxes of food into trucks to distribute to families in the neighborhood.

Josh helping to unload truck of emergency relief aid.

Josh helping to unload truck of emergency relief aid.

As we went house-to-house delivering the boxes, people told us their experiences during the quake and tsunami. The people we heard from were still in shock, still frightened. Some were sleeping with their clothes, ready

to run out of the house in the event of another quake. Many people said they feel as if the ground under their feet is constantly shaking. And in many cases, it is, because there have been scores of aftershocks, and some have been quite strong.

One problem on everyone’s mind is that employers have begun demanding that people go back to work, but few people are ready to take up their normal routines. The selfemployed have other worries, like the family we met whose small bakery was totally Josh helping to unload truck of emergency relief aid.
destroyed and who now need to generate the new resources to make repairs and get started again before they can re-employ their workers.
Later that same day, Monica and I accompanied the EPES staff in visits to the community health promoters who have been working with EPES for years. These women have been active in their neighborhoods, identifying individual and families with urgent health care needs (infants, elderly, people with injuries and/or chronic illness) and helping EPES to reach them. EPES also distributed emergency health care kits among the health promoters, with basic supplies and instructions to treat common ailments like gastrointestinal problems and headaches. Previously, EPES had put together and distributed hundreds of information fliers on safe water, post-earthquake shock and general disease prevention.

The next day we travelled to Coronel, an economically-depressed former coal-mining town on the coast where EPES got its start in the region in the mid 1980s. We were overwhelmed by the scenes of quake destruction, with broken roadways and toppled power lines all along the route.

Josh with volunteers unloading boxes of food and hygiene kits for  earthquake victims

Josh with volunteers unloading boxes of food and hygiene kits for earthquake victims

But as we entered the town, we were met by a procession of children on bikes and foot, singing and dancing in a mini-parade organized by the community to lift people’s spirits. Men with shovels and power drills working along the road momentarily halted their efforts in order to cheer the children on. Everyone we talk to agrees that the children of these communities have received a tremendous physical and emotional jolt from the chaos of the first few days and the lingering sense of loss. Municipal services here are working to restore power and water, but the emotional needs of these children are not as easy to detect and remedy. Fortunately, EPES will be able to address this need through counseling programs that is is busy organizing and which will start within the month.

One thing that struck me in Coronel is the sense of new community and unity that the quake appears to have provoked. One family told us how the tragedy made them get to know neighbours they had never spoken to before, and how these new connections are helping everyone to get on with the rebuilding.

Water pipes ripped up.

Water pipes ripped up.

Dichato, a fishing village about 40 minutes from Concepcion, was one of the towns most severely affected by the tidal waves. February is the height of the tourist season in Chile, and in Josh with volunteers unloading boxes of food and hygiene kits for earthquake victims Water pipes ripped up. the days prior to the quake, Dichato was full of visitors enjoying its traditional way of life and shoreline restaurants serving the daily catch.

Today you need a special military permit to enter the town. And when you get there, instead of tourists you are greeted by emergency tent shelters and families lined up for boxes of food.
At seaside, people are still combing through the rubble, finding family pictures,

silverware and toys.
Marcos, a local fisherman we stopped to talk to, told us of his first impressions upon returning to his house after the tsunami flooding. “Instead of my house, there were piles of wood, shards of glass and metal pipes. My house was gone, and in its place was a pile of trash.”

Bags to deliver to Penco

Bags to deliver to Penco

As winter quickly approaches here in the Southern hemisphere — and the winters here in southern Chile are wet and cold — families are still living in tents up in the hills of Dichato. Most tents will not withstand the heavy rains. One family whose tent is set up in crowded campsite shared their worries about the threat of disease from the rats that have invaded the area. People don’t know when the tents will come down and more solid housing, even if temporary, will be available. Local schools were wiped out and, so far, no one knows when they will be repaired or even where their children will be placed in the interim.

Tomorrow we will be making another delivery of 200 food boxes, a task that EPES is coordinating with a committee of local churches and ecumenical
groups. This is short-term aid, and this short-term aid is sorely needed. But there is so much to be done to rebuild over the long-term, and to repair the social fissures that the earthquake has exposed.
Photos by Josh Prudowsky
Bags to deliver to Penco