Hombro a hombro con Ecuador

For: Victims of the April 16, 7.8 earthquake in Ecuador
Organizer: Carla Arrobo
of €25,000 goal
64% Complete
Raised by 96 donors

The Story

Last year, the team of "Hombro a hombro con Nepal" from Ecuador helped the villagers of Thame in Nepal to rebuild their houses.

One year later, our country, Ecuador, has been struck by a terrible earthquake. Hundreds of people have died, thousands are injured, and more have lost everything.

We will do everything we can to help the victims. We will work in the same way we did last year in Nepal. Our goal is to identify a village that receives little to no help, and help its people rebuild their houses. The funds raised will be spent locally whenever possible, in order to help restart the local economy.

We count on you. Stay tuned!

Follow us: facebook.com/Hombroahombroconecuador

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on September 1, 2016

Posted on September 1, 2016

Dear friends,

We hope that you are all doing very well. We wanted to share with you some news about our work in Las Cañas. We are very glad to announce that the second load of bamboo that arrived at Las Cañas two weeks ago will be used in the construction of Don Tito’s house. This already started at the beginning of last week!

Some weeks ago, and after almost 100 days living in shelters and emergency tents, people from Las Cañas began to build more private temporary houses and clearly expressed the need to have their own private spaces. They got organized to choose the beneficiary family and asked us to help them. This is why for a couple of weeks we have been working very hard to have the final design of our housing proposal. We have already shared and discussed the design with the people from the community and made the necessary changes to meet their needs. The beneficiaries of the first house are Don Tito and his wife, who will share the space their daughter and her two children during a few months. The construction will have a total of 63 m2 (40 m2 in the inside) and will be entirely built in bamboo. We are very happy because Hombro a hombro’s team has grown and now we count with the invaluable support of José, an architect who is an expert in bamboo constructions and who joined the construction team to lead this process; and Leonor from Las Cañas, who also joined our team to take care of logistic matters in Tabuga. Geovanni from Hombro a hombro has moved to Las Cañas for one month to work shoulder to shoulder with the family, the community, volunteers and Hombro a hombro members in the construction of the house. People from Las Cañas and other neighborhoods in Tabuga are very motivated and committed to help Don Tito and build his house.

Thank you very much to you all for joining efforts with us and making this possible. Our special thanks to José Ballesteros and all the poets who participated in the reading of poems in "Poetry For Ecuador" in Washington; to the organizers and photographers who participated in the photo exhibition "Luz, lumière sobre Ecuador" in Paris (http://expophotoecuador.wix.com/expo); to María and the family Moreno de los Ríos; and the organizers of the event Festa solidària Orta amb Equador and the people from Horta de Sant Joan (http://www.hortadesantjoan.cat/) who participated in the event.
Apart from this very important announcement, we also wanted to share with you a few other actions we have carried out since our last project update. As you already know, the assessment of the damaged houses in Tabuga was
already carried out by authorities’ representatives. The houses were marked with three different colored stickers depending on how affected they were after the earthquake. After the assessment process, our team began working with the people to fix the homes that suffered less damages to make them habitable again, and disassembling houses that were going to be demolished and save as many parts and materials as possible to be reused in the construction of the new homes. Fortunately, the houses in Las Cañas neighborhood that were marked with the red sticker have already been demolished. However, many houses in other neighborhoods of Tabuga have not been demolished yet. Even though the demolition process is an important step towards reconstruction, we know how hard it is for the people to see how the remains of their houses are being brought down.

The first donation of giant bamboo also arrived to Las Cañas. It was a donation from Ricardo Alzamora to whom we are very thankful. His donation was a very important contribution and his help with the logistics very much appreciated! This bamboo, together with other materials, was used to fix the structure of some homes, and to build temporary housing and work spaces. We also used it to build a carpentry shop facility where our construction team and the community members will work with wood and bamboo. This facility will also work as a “tool library” where people from Tabuga can borrow tools they may need to cover any construction need. The bamboo that was not used, together with a second load of bamboo that arrived this weekend will be used in the construction of Don Tito’s house.

The bamboo construction workshop in Rio Muchacho went very well. Vicente and Darwin from Tabuga joined our team and definitely made the best of the workshop. We learned how to treat the bamboo and the steps needed to build a bamboo treatment center. We learned how to make the necessary cuts to assemble the modules and all the participants learned how to assemble all the pieces of a house. Thank you very much again to our partners of the Cloudbase Foundation for making this happen.
We also kept working closely with the community and we are very happy that the relationship has grown stronger. In June, we organized a tour to bring medical, dental and psychological care to the people of Tabuga with our friends of Fundación Mingai. Doctors and paramedics treated more than 300 patients in the community between children and adults; and made special arrangements to help senior and disabled citizens who had difficulties reaching the main medical center.

The school space has also changed a lot since April. Now it is a nice space where Fabiola takes care of the children from Las Cañas. Adults also use this space to hold important meetings.
Finally, Fabiola’s raised planting bed project also started to bear fruit some weeks ago! This is how it looked before and how it looks now!

Please remember that you can check the donations registry and financial statement of the project at any time at this link: http://bit.ly/23QA8da.

Thanks a lot again for your support! We will report back soon!

Hombro a hombro con Ecuador

Posted on May 30, 2016

Posted on May 30, 2016

Dear Friends,

As you already know few days after the earthquake, we sent three teams to map the affected areas. Since then, we settled in Las Cañas, a neighborhood of 39 families in the village of Tabuga, in the province of Manabí.

In this neighborhood, most of the houses are made of blocks of concrete. They either collapsed or are seriously damaged. On the other hand, the few houses that are made of wood or bamboo suffered less damages.

The villagers have shown a strong desire to overcome this hardship and worked with us right away to build emergency shelters and a water tank to collect rainwater. Thanks to a donation we received, now this water can be filtered and used for human consumption. We also installed some latrines in some shelters in Tabuga –in places with no toilets or where toilets needed to be relocated due to sanitary reasons.

Also, some women from the village decided to start a temporary child care center that we helped to set up. As part of the activities that we have carried out with the kids, we went with them around the village and down to the river to clean the river bank. Waste and plastic is a big problem in the town. So we spoke about waste management and showed them how plastic bottles can turn into handcrafts and toys. We believe that sharing the daily life and such activities with the community is very important to develop strong ties with them. Such bonds will help us to understand their needs, to support their initiatives and ideas, and to work together in future plans.

Right now, the people of Tabuga are living in shelters that accommodate about eight to ten families each. Since all the shelters are full, several families live in emergency tents right next to their homes or next to the shelters. Even though most emergency needs are covered, the living conditions are very harsh. We really need to provide a permanent solution for the families of Las Cañas.

Next Monday, two teams will travel to Santo Domingo and Puerto Quito to start harvesting the bamboo that we will use in the houses that we are planning to build as part of our sustainable and long term project. Each team is made of bamboo-cutters from the affected area and volunteers. Once cut, the bamboo needs to be dried and treated in order to be used as a long-lasting construction material.

Thanks to the very important support of The Cloudbase Foundation, Hombro a hombro team and three members of the community will also attend the Bamboo construction workshop organized by Río Muchacho learning center on June 8th-12th. This workshop is critical to start the construction phase.

Fundraising efforts are also key to achieving our project’s objectives. This is why during these last weeks, the volunteering teams in Quito have participated tirelessly in several events. Last weekend, we had a booth at the Terrasónica music festival and at the Expo Be-Fit, where we presented our project and sold buffs and t-shirts. Last Wednesday, the Pentasiete Art Studio organized a silent auction to help us raise funds. The event featured live music and live painting. The food stalls who were present at the event will donate part of their earnings to Hombro a hombro con Ecuador. We also presented our project at the opening of the EDOC documentary festival that takes place in Quito, Guayaquil, Cuenca and Manta.

The bamboo drying and treatment process requires time and patience. Also, the assessmet of the damaged houses was completed last week by authorities' representatives. This gives us good hope that we will be able to start the construction soon. In the meantime, we will continue to work closely with the families of Las Cañas to improve their current living conditions, support their initiatives and fix the homes that suffered less damages to make them habitable again.

Finally, please remember that you can check the donations registry and financial statement of the project at any time here: http://bit.ly/23QA8daview

Thanks a lot for your support! Stay tuned!

Posted on April 30, 2016

Posted on April 30, 2016

Dear friends,

It has been two weeks since the earthquake devastated our coastline and its families. One of the hardest part is about to begin for people in many villages: the rebuilding of their houses, the reconstruction of their lives.

During these days, we have been doing an inspection of the village of Tabuga with Vicente Vera, a local who has been guiding us around. We conducted a census of the population and made an assessment of the damages in “Las Cañas” neighborhood, which is in a very bad condition.

Thank you very much for your support and for being with us through your messages. We count on you!

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