It’s so easy to forget about natural disasters after they happen, especially when they occur so far away from you. While in Chile this week, I’ve realized that there’s still so much work to be done in terms of rebuilding this wonderful country. As you know, on Feb. 27, a massive 8.8 earthquake rattled Chile for over two minutes (and in some areas, for over three minutes!), causing widespread devastation. In the southern part of the country, the quake, which was the largest to hit Chile in over 50 years, also triggered tsunamis. And though this country has always been extremely well prepared to handle seismic disasters, (it has suffered the largest recorded one in history, a 9.5 monster in 1960) hearing people recount that apocalyptic evening, describe the way the earth sounded (one friend described it as “la tierra estaba furiosa”), and to witness the damage, reminded me that we cannot forget to help. (The same goes for Haiti, of course, which a month earlier suffered a 7.0 quake and was extremely ill-prepared for a natural disaster of such magnitude).
Habitat for Humanity Latin America has made several efforts to raise awareness and funds for the reconstruction efforts in Chile (and Haiti). Check out their site to watch a PSA with Rosario Dawson, Wilmer Valderrama, and Camilla Belle; listen to the remake of Violeta Parra’s Chilean classic “Gracias A La Vida” by Shakira, Alejandro Sanz, Juanes, et. al; or watch an animated short film by Chilean artist Andrea Lira that reminds us of the fragility of human life.