Local News

Triangle residents aid Ecuador after earthquake

Posted April 22, 2016 10:51 p.m. EDT

— In Ecuador, a week after the earth moved and life suddenly stood still, the recovery efforts can’t seem to keep up with the demand for help.

“The urgent need is to get food in people’s stomachs. We had trucks going by and people were screaming, ‘please stop for us, please stop for us’ in one of the towns,” said missionary Rich Brown. “There were children running through the streets, saying ‘where’s my mom,’ screaming for their parents, even parents screaming for their kids.”

Brown, who was born in Ecuador, and his wife have been doing missionary work in the country for 10 years. The couple wasn’t there when the earthquake hit Sunday, but their fellow missionaries were already on the ground helping.

Brown’s nonprofit, IncaLink, had two projects going- one in Manta and another in Porto-Viejo, one of the hardest-hit areas.

“The children there, basically their parents work in the garbage dumps and their parent’s homes were devastated down to the ground,” Brown said. “We’re going to have a couple of years work to rebuild those homes and stuff, even the churches were affected.”

Brown said his main concern is that, in a month or two from now, people will forget about the devastation in Ecuador when the story is no longer making headlines. Others in the Triangle share the same concern, which is why residents with ties to Ecuador are continuing to raise money and awareness about the desperate needs.

A salsa dance party held at Carmen’s Cuban Café by Ecuador native Betto Herrera each month was turned into a fundraiser for victims of the earthquake on Friday.

“The easiest for them to decide was to go ahead and decide to turn this event into a benefit for Ecuador and it’s great to feel like you can contribute to that from so far away,” said Andy Kleindienst, who helped organize the event.

Hererra was also collecting supplies to be shipped to Ecuador.

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