Mexico earthquake brings the country together

Jocelyn Avila’s boyfriend was in shock when his car started to sway from side to side, confused when people began evacuating the buildings — all she could do was watch and listen on FaceTime.

Avila, an SF State student from Cuernavaca, México, was on the phone with her boyfriend who attends Tecnológico de Monterrey in Monterrey, México and was sitting in his car at the campus’ parking lot during the phone call where Avila first found out about the earthquake.  

According to the United States Geological Survey, the epicenter of the 7.1 magnitude earthquake on Sept. 19 was in Izúcar de Matamoros, 108 miles south of México City. But instead of waiting for help, the people of Mexico took it upon themselves to help their own.

“My whole family is in Cuernavaca, which is very close to the epicenter of the earthquake,” Avila said. “I was very worried about my family and their safety and I was very happy when I got news from my parents of everyone being okay.”

Avila’s home in Mexico wasn’t as damaged as the others around her city. She felt lucky that small furniture like coffee tables, picture frames and other decorations around her home were the only things damaged.

“El pueblo se unió,” Juan Bosco del Río Mojica, an SF State student from Guadalajara, México, said. “Which means the town came together; México came together.”  

Around the world, through the eyes of Twitter and the media, outsiders saw how the people of Mexico came together to help one another — from saving the elderly to rescuing animals.

“I have very lazy friends back home who won’t even clean their room or go to the store for tortillas,” Mojica said. “But that day, those friends helped in any way they could from organizing food drives to loading boxes into buses.”

Social media was a big contributor to aiding those in need both during and after the earthquake. People would post a tweet asking for help and other users would retweet it in hopes of finding that person the help they needed before it was too late, according to USA Today video.  

Rocio Esqueda, an SF State student from Nochistlán, Zacatecas, México, said she was shocked when she saw the death toll an hour after the earthquake hit.

“I felt pure sadness for the people,” said Esqueda. “Those are my people, my blood, and it hurts to see your own go through something like that.”

According to ABC News, there have been 360 reported deaths, 30-40 people missing and the total damage cost could surpass $1 billion, equating to 18.2 billion pesos.

From famous Mexican television personalities to professional athletes, many have used their social media platforms to donate and raise money in hopes of helping to ease the financial hardships the earthquake victims are living with, on an article by CNN en Español.

“I work closely with a lot of friends involved with politics in the Bay Area,” Luis R. Cardenas, an SF State student and member of Latino Young Democrats of SF from Arandas, Jalisco, México said. “There have been a lot of fundraisers for this cause in which thousands of dollars have been raised and sent to rescue organizations.”

Cardenas did not hold back on saying how proud he was in the Latino Young Democrats of SF organization.

“It was a community effort,” said Cardenas. “We fired on all cylinders online, websites and in person donations through events.”

México has received large amounts of donations from many top 500 organizations. Some from the Bay Area, like Google, Apple and Facebook, have pledged $1 million to relief efforts and the Mexican government began reconstruction plans for the affected areas, according to Forbes.

“I hope the world gets to see our true colors after this natural disaster,” said Mojica. “We are Mexican, we find humor to heal our wounds, we are humble and we have each other’s backs no matter what.”

He continued, “Estoy orgulloso de ser mexicano.”

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