On Thursday and Friday groups from our partner farm Entrerios traveled to the hard-hit regions of Chanco and Mocha Island to deliver much-needed relief supplies. Below Jorge Bawlitza, managing director of our partner farm Entrerios, continues his account of the earthquake’s aftermath and describes the relief efforts in Chanco, and Roland Heis gives an account of the mission to Mocha Island.
Many things have happened the last days that I want to share with you. Our farm and packaging facilities is working 100% with more than 250 people, coming together with their children and family. We have activities organized for the children. And we prepare food for all the families. At the same moment, a technical team has been visiting the houses of our workers. Our farm Agro Entre Rios have ordened 3 emergency houses to give a roof for our workers that have lost it and are repairing the damages of the houses. Our farm Bluestar is repairing the damages of their houses and have already started the construction of 3 emergency houses for their workers. In our farm in Cauquenes, we are evaluating the damages of our workers, and food support has already begun.
As we knew that some towns very near from Linares have been destroyed completely and that only very few help has arrived there, we organized an expedition to bring them food. Thanks to the financial support of one of our client, Southern Specialties, Pompano Beach, we have bought 1000kg of food to bring to one of this little town, Chanco. Yesterday, we could bring oil, pasta, sugar, apples and tomatoes to more than 90 families (from 4 to 20 people each family.
Thanks to 2 local social workers from the municipality of Chanco, we could have a real impact in which we are sure that the food arrives directly at the heart of these families. Without their help, it would have been difficult for us to give equitibly and to the ones that more requires it. Marcia Cristoso Perez, one of the social workers, fortunately did not have too much destruction in her house and is part of the 10% of the houses that didn´t collapsed, but was still without electricity and water. Elizabeth Munoz Munoz, the other social worker was not so lucky, she lost for completely her house and was now living together with 3 other families in a bus that someone provides them.
Chanco is a typical and traditional town from the time of Spanish conquest, with a history of more than 450 years. The people we met yesterday are from middle low social class, with a face full of dignity, traditional families from the deep old Chile. In this town and region, there is no bank, nor cash machine working, so nobody has any money. There is no minimarkets or supermarkets, so the few ones that have money cannot use it. There is no fuel and most of the cars are destroyed. So our small help that we can do is giving a breath for a few days until governmental support arrives and people reorganizes themselves. Gave 2 kg of sugar, 2 kg of pasta, 1 lt of oil, tomatoes and apples with love and care, looking in their eyes can help the spirit to return. The same spirit that motivates our friends from Southern Specialties from Pompano Beach, Florida. And with all our heart and in the name of all the people we met yesterday, we thanks them so much. I know that all Southern Specialties team will be very happy to know they could help us to bring food and love to 90 families. I´m sure that maybe they didn´t imagine the rapidity and the efficacy in generating happiness with their resources.
I know that many of you have done donation to international help for Chile and all our community thanks you very much for it. Also I want to tell you that we share all what we live with our workers, and they support us with their heart, job and extra-time that will be concretised in help to our community.
Jorge Bawlitza, EntreriosFarms
Saturday, March 6th
Here at our farm in the south of Chile (Villarrica area) the situation is improving. When we see all the destruction and pain in Central area, we feel fortunate. Only one of our workers has serious damage at his home and we are already rebuilding it…so we are putting all our efforts to bring help to more remote areas where government hasn’t reached yet.
Yesterday we organized 3 small Cessnas (airplanes) and brought food and other essentials to a small island called” Isla Mocha” only 10 miles away from the epicenter. A huge tsunami wave took away more than half of the small village. But these were fishermen so they knew what to do and “only” two lives where lost! In the name of this small community (400 inhabitants) thanks to all of you for your great support!
Roland Heise, Entreriosfarms
more photos here