Ecuador has been on our radar a lot lately. Our Sigue No Mas language and service program is based in Ecuador, and last Saturday, April 16th, Ecuador suffered a 7.8 magnitude earthquake.
Whenever natural disasters like this one occur, our hearts immediately go out to the communities, people, and wildlife that experience loss and destruction of their homes. We can help the affected communities in Ecuador by continuing our service work, donating funds to relief efforts, and raising awareness.
What are the facts?
During the evening of Saturday, April 16, 2016, Pedernales, a coastal town in the state of Manabi, experienced a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. The earthquake negatively impacted the province of Manabi as well as the neighboring province Esmeraldas.
A second earthquake occurred on April 20, 2016. This time, the epicenter was in Esmeraldas. The second earthquake registered at 4.9.
How does this impact The Road Less Traveled’s Sigue No Mas program?
The short answer: It doesn’t.
Our work in Ecuador makes the world a better place. It takes us to Quito, the Otavalo area, as well as Baltra & Isabella Island’s in the Galapagos
These areas were not significantly impacted and the tourism infrastructure including airports, accommodations, and ground transportation continue to be fully functional. Our contacts in Ecuador have communicated to us that we will be able to smoothly and safely carry out our itinerary. In fact, the Galapagos Islands, where we spend the last seven days of our program, were entirely unaffected by the earthquake and the aftershocks.
The longer answer:
Although the entire country was not physically damaged by the earthquake, all Ecuadorians feel the effects of the earthquake emotionally and economically. Ecuador should be recognized and supported. Our service work within the community of Larcacunga becomes more important than ever.
Sigue No Mas participants live, work, and learn in Larcacunga for ten days of the program. They combine their efforts with those of the community’s to construct farmstead enclosures and assist with tree nurseries for reforestation. This is a rare opportunity to firsthand support Ecuador’s culture, animals, and crops at a time when it’s needed most.
Speaking of showing support and love, if you are interested in helping Ecuador, consider joining us or donating toward the earthquake relief effort. The US Embassy in Quito provided a list of ways to help on their website. Three of their suggested options are below:
To access the entire list that the US Embassy has provided, refer to their website and look under “April 16 Earthquake.” Click here to access their website.
The safety of our participants is our number one priority. We are closely monitoring the conditions in Ecuador and will continue daily contact with our associates in the country. We would not hesitate to change the logistics of the trip if necessary or cancel it altogether. However, we fully intend to continue our commitment and support of Ecuador and its people as expected.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us with more questions or concerns! Save your spot on our Ecuador Sigue No Mas program here.