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Chilean Students Rally in Aftermath of Deadly Quake

After the devastation in Haiti, another tragedy, in Chile

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The front of a church lays in ruins. Photo by Diego Correa

On Saturday, February 27, Chile was struck by an 8.8 magnitude earthquake that left millions of people homeless and sent tsunami warnings throughout the Pacific Rim. The country has been hit by more than 90 strong aftershocks in the 5.0 to 7.0 magnitude range in the days since. By Monday, the death toll had reached more than 700 and is expected to rise as rescue operations continue.

The morning of the 27th, I woke up to a frantic phone call from my mother: “There’s been an earthquake in Chile, and we haven’t heard back from the family.” I’m sure there were many calls like this to Chilean students around campus, and while some got good news, others didn’t. Being far away from it all doesn’t lessen the stress, but many at BU and in the Boston area are working together to start fund drives for earthquake relief.

Chile is home to my entire extended family, including my grandmother. Not knowing how they were doing, I set to work connecting with other Chileans and any sources that could provide up-to-date information. I started a Facebook group for any students hoping for information and to get the relief drive started. The group, Boston Students United for Chile, has already reached 200 members and allows Boston students to post any information they have. It is updated regularly with articles and news about the current status of the country. Volunteer and donation information is also provided.

Other groups, like Boston Helps Chile, have also been set up to send news to Chileans and Chilean-Americans living in New England. Boston Helps Chile creator Constanza Leal is keeping the Chilean-American community aware of fundraising events in the upcoming weeks.

Twitter has again taken the lead in providing up-to-date information from journalist and news Web sites. La Cruz Roja Chilena and TVN24H are giving updates for the Chilean community. Be sure to check out the Santiago Times as well.

In the coming weeks, I hope to work with students around campus to get the relief effort up and running. If you are interested in helping, please send me an e-mail at nrojas@bu.edu and join Boston Students United for Chile. The group is meeting on Wednesday, March 3, at 5:30 p.m., at StuVi2, Study Room 101, first floor, and everyone is welcome.

For now — “Fuerza Chile!”

For more information on upcoming events in the Boston area, contact Constanza Leal at coteleal@live.com. For BU-related events, contact Nicole Rojas at nrojas@bu.edu or via Twitter @nrojas0131.

2 Comments

2 Comments on Chilean Students Rally in Aftermath of Deadly Quake

  • Anonymous on 03.04.2010 at 9:08 pm

    Thank you for your hard work in helping Chile.

  • ALAN on 07.19.2010 at 10:15 am

    I have nothing to say but to congratulate you and Thank you for all you did to help Chili get out from this catastrophe

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