As the death toll rises from the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that shook Ecuador on April 16th, so the does the amount of relief aid required to assist the country in recovery efforts.
Earlier this week, President Weinberg received a frantic plea from three Denison alumni calling on their American community to donate to the crisis. Maria Alejandra Argoti, Daniela Troya and Stefany Skuro reached out to the Denison family from their homes in Ecuador, where they witnessed the ravaging effects of the disaster directly.
In response, several Denison organizations from the Multicultural Greek Council took up the charge to collect donations directly from the community. Sigma Lambda Gamma sorority, Phi Iota Alpha fraternity and Alpha Sigma Rho sorority have been tabling in Slayter Union since Monday.
Esther Pacheco ‘16, academic chair of Sigma Lambda Gamma, was a key organizer in the tabling effort this past week. Pacheco studied abroad in Ecuador and found great comfort in the culture and people of the country.
“After seeing all the posts my Ecuadorian friends and host family have been posting about their need and hearing about the email Dr. Weinberg received from our Ecuadorian alumni asking for help, I knew we had to do something,” Pacheco said.
Pacheco continued, “the country is suffering a lot from the impact and is low on resources. Any contributions will be greatly appreciated.”
A fair portion of Denison students have chosen to study abroad in Ecuador as part of their Denison experience. Meghan Tenorio ‘17 and Kelsey McCormick ‘17 are currently in the country for the spring semester. Tenorio was not affected directly by the earthquake but still noticed the devastation it caused on the coast.
“everyone in Quito had just thought it was a regular earthquake until later on in the night we started hearing news about the damage to the coast,” Tenorio said. “At that moment it really scared me, because I had thought of going to the coast that weekend.”
“Now everyone in Quito and all of Ecuador (as well as other countries nearby) have really come together to help the people devastated by the earthquake. It’s mesmerizing and heartwarming to see everyone helping in any way that they can, donating money, water, food, etc,” Tenorio said.
Those interested in donating can visit the table in Slayter Union from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. or donate directly to Unicef or the Red Cross through their respective websites.