SPECIAL REPORT: Our Family’s Plea after the #EcuadorEarthquake

SPECIAL REPORT: Our Family’s Plea after the #EcuadorEarthquake

In the aftermath of the recent earthquake in Ecuador, the people of my husband’s home country are on our minds and in our hearts, and we are very much in touch. Today, I am giving them a voice on World Moms Blog…

Beautiful Ecuador

Beautiful Ecuador. A photo from the hacienda belonging to my husband’s family in Cuenca.

Ecuador is the home of the Galapagos Islands, aromatic coffee, delicious chocolate, and my husband. He was born and raised in Cuenca, a charming colonial city in the mountains. Although we reside in the United States with our two children, my husband always makes it a point that we always stay connected to the place he still refers to as home. We got engaged on his hacienda (family’s land), honeymooned in the Galapagos Islands, and continue to vacation in Ecuador every year. My children love visiting with their abuela and primos and enjoy all the natural splendors that their father’s home country has to offer. Ecuador is always very much in our minds and in our hearts.

So, on April 16th when we heard the news that a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit the country, we were a little rattled ourselves.

We learned that my husband’s family was safe, and although they were over 200 miles away from the epicenter they felt the tremors of the quake. They explained that the ground thunderously shook for over a minute, rattling chandeliers and unhinging doors. It was like nothing they had ever experienced before.

What remains or a gift shop in Manta, Ecuador after a series of recent earthquakes in April 2016. Manta is Ecuador's largest seaport on the Pacific ocean.

What remains of a gift shop in Manta, Ecuador after a series of recent earthquakes recently in April 2016. Manta is Ecuador’s largest seaport on the Pacific ocean.

The epicenter was located in the coastal region of Ecuador, which includes some port cities, picturesque coastal towns and small fishing communities. Buildings crumbled to the ground, over 600 people were killed and thousands were displaced from their homes. Most of the area impacted is very poor with limited infrastructure, most of which was destroyed. Initial efforts focused on emergency response and rescue. Organizations like the Ecuadorian Red Cross (Cruz Roja Ecuatoriana) along with other civil and governmental organizations were mobilized quickly.

Yellow tape marked "Peligro" warns people of danger after the roof and balcony collapse of a building in Manta, Ecuador after the earthquakes in April 2016.

Yellow tape marked “Peligro” warns people of danger after the roof and balcony collapse of a building in Manta, Ecuador after the earthquakes in April 2016.

Based on my experience, this is a small and proud country. People boast about everything Ecuadorian including their fruit, wildlife, history and rich traditions. During this difficult time, they have pulled together to help their fellow compatriotas.

My husband’s family helped stock a mobile hospital that headed to the area immediately after the quake to provide emergency health care. Others provided food, clothing and basic essentials. In the days following the earthquake it became clear that the needs of the people were growing and that the rebuilding process was going to be slow. Access to clean water has become critical. Imagine not having safe water to drink or cook?

Once again, local families and companies in the surrounding areas joined together to provide water treatment equipment to service a small portion of those affected. They are making steps forward, but it’s still a long road ahead. There are many organizations that are still offering assistance in the area, according to our family there. One of them is Oxfam, which is working with the Ecuador government to provide safe water and storage to the area. The organization is also focusing on sanitation measures to prevent water borne diseases, especially among children and senior citizens. My family in Ecuador has seen Oxfam’s work on the ground and asked us to donate. We, in turn, are helping to spread the word.

A tin collapsed and bent tin roof and tilted building supports lean atop brick rubble in the aftermath of the earthquakes in Manta, Ecuador in April 2016.

A collapsed and bent tin roof and damaged building supports lean atop brick rubble in the aftermath of the earthquakes in Manta, Ecuador last month, April 2016.

The phrase si se puede is a phrase that enthusiastic Ecuadorian sports fans chant to support their teams.  It means “yes, we can.”  This phrase has become the motto of the relief efforts.

From the hearts of my family and the people of Ecuador who are in dire need of clean water in the aftermath of the earthquake, please consider donating to Oxfam to help the people of Ecuador see that the country’s chants of “si se puede” will overcome this natural disaster.

Angela and her husband on honeymoon in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador in

Angela and her husband on honeymoon in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador after they first married in her husband’s home country 10 years ago.

This is an original guest post from a World Moms Blog reader, Angela Vega, who is mom in the USA of two sensitive and curious children who keep her very busy.  Before deciding to stay home with her children, Angela worked in the field of marketing and advertising. She earned an undergraduate degree from Villanova University and an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management, where she met her husband.

Photo credits of the earthquake damage and hacienda to Pedro Vega on the ground in Ecuador.

Photo credit to the author for the honeymoon photo.


World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

More Posts

WORLD VOICE: #NepalEarthquake – How Can You Contribute?

WORLD VOICE: #NepalEarthquake – How Can You Contribute?


As an Indian, writing about the #NepalEarthquake today, I have to share a few interesting facts about the Indo-Nepal relationship. An Indian National does not need a VISA to travel to Nepal, and an Indian National does not need even a passport to enter Nepal.

An Indian National only needs some sort of ID card on him to show that he is in an Indian National. And then he is free to come and go.

That is the level of friendship, comradeship, and mutual trust and confidence the countries have on each other. It is just like traveling to another state within India.



It was a great shock to hear about the earthquake on Saturday April 25th. On this date, Nepal was hit by earthquake of a 7.8 magnitude that has killed over 7000 people. The death toll is unfortunately estimated to increase up to 10,000 as rescue efforts span out to remote regions of the epicentre. Nepal has experienced over 50+ aftershocks of 4.5 magnitudes or higher after the initial earthquake.

The injured are in need of desperate medical attention. Countless have lost their homes and are on streets in need of food, water, and medical supplies.

Buildings collapsed in Siliguri, North India

Buildings collapsed in Siliguri, North India

I was traveling in North India when I learned about the #NepalEarthquake. Some parts of Delhi, Lucknow, Bihar (all in India) felt the tremors and aftershocks. At least 60 people were killed in North India and more than 100 injured during this period. I frantically checked for all my friends in North India and Nepal. I even got a call from my friend and fellow World Mom, The Human Rights Warrior, Jennifer Prestholdt to help contact the school in Nepal that her organization works closely with. Major telecom provider #Airtel had made all calls free from India to Nepal. You can read her story about when she finally got the news she was hoping for, and when she read the text message “All our SPCS family r safe,” from Anoop Poudel, headmaster at the Sankhu-Palubari Community School (SPCS) in Nepal.

Aftermath and rubble

Aftermath and rubble

Indian government’s Operation Maitri (meaning friendship) aptly called so, has started helping within 15 minutes of the earthquake.

Organizations like Save the Children, Red Cross, UNICEF, WFP and Care are on the ground with supplies and volunteers. These organizations have teams on the ground and are the most capable in immediate rescue and relief work.

1. Save the Children

Save the Children is an international charity that has been in Nepal since 1976. In fact, when the earthquake hit, there were nearly 500 of their aid workers, mostly Nepalese, on the ground who were already doing work in the area. This was a great help when there were difficulties with the airport at first, according to Carolyn Miles, President and CEO of Save the Children. Also, 10% of funds are going to preparations for future disasters. You can donate to their Nepal Earthquake Children’s Relief Fund.

2. Red Cross

The Red Cross has committed an initial $300,000 of aid as well as 19,000 non-food relief kits. You can donate to the Red Cross Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund.

3. Global Giving

Online fund-raising platform Global Giving is running a project to raise $1,000,000 for disaster relief in Nepal and has raised over $570,000 so far.

To make a donation, visit Global Giving here. If you have a U.S. cell phone, you can text GIVE NEPAL to 80088 to make a $10 donation.

4. Friends Service Council Nepal

FSCN is a Nepalese NGO with over 20 years of experience in supporting disaster relief efforts for disasters in Nepal. If you want to give directly to a local charity, get in contact and a volunteer will explain how best to transfer money to them.

5. Oxfam

Oxfam, which works in more than 90 countries, has already dispatched technical experts from the U.K. to Nepal.

To make your donation to Oxfam’s relief effort, go here.

6. Goonj

Goonj is an Indian relief agency with 11 offices and more than 300 employees. Currently, Goonj is readying two trucks of relief material to transfer to Nepal, with more urgent supplies going by air. For more information about how to donate, visit their website.

Additionally, you could also consider donating at the following links/websites.

Sarvodaya USA: Which is a Madison, WI based non-profit organization. They have done some good work in Nepal and Sri Lanka. They now have volunteers helping in relief work.


World Food Program


Global Outreach Doctors

There are local organizations that are on ground taking care of the survivors and injured. If you wish to make contributions to these organizations, please visit their website below.

Nepal ko Yuwa

And you could contribute too, in other ways, by sending your prayers, thoughts of love, unity and world brotherhood to all of them affected there, the survivors and the long passed souls. Let us pray for some peace.

This is an original post from our World Mom and Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan.

Her contributions to World Moms Blog can be found here. She also rambles at The Alchemist’s Blog.

Photo credit to  Krish Dulal Creative Commons, Deccan Chronicle, Maps of India, European pressphoto Agency.

Article has been written with inputs from author’s friend having close ties with relatives on field in Nepal, Time.com and local Indian TV News channels.

Purnima Ramakrishnan

Purnima Ramakrishnan is an UNCA award winning journalist and the recipient of the fellowship in Journalism by International Reporting Project, John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Her International reports from Brazil are found here . She is also the recipient of the BlogHer '13 International Activist Scholarship Award . She is a Senior Editor at World Moms Blog who writes passionately about social and other causes in India. Her parental journey is documented both here at World Moms Blog and also at her personal Blog, The Alchemist's Blog. She can be reached through this page . She also contributes to Huffington Post . Purnima was once a tech-savvy gal who lived in the corporate world of sleek vehicles and their electronics. She has a Master's degree in Electronics Engineering, but after working for 6 years as a Design Engineer, she decided to quit it all to become a Stay-At-Home-Mom to be with her son!   This smart mom was born and raised in India, and she has moved to live in coastal India with her husband, who is a physician, and her son who is in primary grade school.   She is a practitioner and trainer of Heartfulness Meditation.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Saturday Sidebar: The Question Oxfam America Is Asking On #InternationalWomensDay

Saturday Sidebar: The Question Oxfam America Is Asking On #InternationalWomensDay

wmbmeetups copy

I know what you are thinking, and you are right, Everyday is International Women’s Day for us here at World Moms Blog, isn’t it?  However, today, on March 8th, International Women’s Day is celebrated by many countries around the world, so our global moms are joining Oxfam America in honoring the women who have inspired us in our communities or in our lives!

Today’s Saturday Sidebar question is:

Is there a women leader who is helping to strengthen her community by whom you are inspired?

Here are the women who have inspired some of our World Moms …………..

Karen Van Der Zwet in New Zealand: was inspired by Mother Theresa, the legendary Catholic missionary and Nobel Peace Prize winner who was known for her selfless work with the poor.

Jennifer Burden, USA Wrote: I am inspired by a young college woman, Vivian Onano. We met on twitter, and she never ceases to amaze me of her commitment to the people of Kenya, where she is from and her advocacy for women and girls worldwide with the ONE Campaign and the Half the Sky Movement. Most recently, she interviewed Bono at a ONE Campaign event. Need I say more? This soon-to-be graduate is a woman to watch!!!

Kristyn Zalota in Nicaragua says: Aung San Suu Kyi, who is a Burmese opposition politician and chairperson of the National League for Democracy (NLD) in Burma who had been previously on house arrest during the 1990 general elections. She was released in 2010, becoming one of the world’s most prominent political prisoners.

Suu Kyi received the Rafto Prize and the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 1990 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.” The list of her awards is long, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilan honor in the United States. She plans to run for President of Myanmar in 2015. — Wikipedia.

Alison Fraser of Canada wrote a post about her inspiration, Eleanor Roosevelt, for International Day of the Girl Child on World Moms Blog.

“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”  – Eleanor Roosevelt

Purnima Ramakrishnan in India Wrote: There are two women whom I really admire. One is World Moms Blog’s very own Jennifer Burden. She started out our community as a blog. And now, look, with about 60+ moms from 25+ countries, there is no stopping this wonderful conglomerate of World Mothers united in their spirit to do the best for their own children and to all the children all over the world!

From India, I admire Mother Teresa. Though not originally from India, this short lady with beautiful compassion within her worked for the downtrodden all over our country. Making Kolkatta her home in India, she said that the best gift we could give to others is our love and compassion because God never stops giving this to HIS children.

These two wonderful women, one from my own community of Kolkatta, India (now no more, she passed away) and the other from my own world community, who is trying to make the world smaller and smaller in unifying this amazing gender of women by love and compassion are, both, women I admire today on International Women’s Day.

Elizabeth Atalay in the USA says: I was recently inspired by Angela Maiers who brought her program #Choose2Matter to our local high school where she showed kids how they can have an impact on others lives and encouraged them to make the world a better place.

Eva Fannon,USA wrote: Melinda Gates. As a World Moms Blog representative at the #GatesSocial for International Mother’s Day yesterday, I learned so much about the different areas of focus for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation today. Amazing!

Tinne De Beckker in Belgium wrote: Marie Popelin, first woman – in Belgium – to obtain a law degree. Isala Van Diest, first female doctor. We’ve come a long way – and have a long way to go – when it comes to education for women/girls. Let’s not forget the pioneers!

You can join Oxfam in honoring a woman who has inspired you in your life and help raise awareness about women’s efforts to change the world. Do you have a story of a woman to share?  Post it on the Oxfam site and read some of the inspiring ones already collected there. Together, we can change the world!

This post was compiled by World Moms Blog editor of World Voice (human rights and social good), Elizabeth Atalay of “Documama” in the USA.

Photo credit to World Moms Blog of some of our 2013 contributor meet ups around the world!


Elizabeth Atalay

Elizabeth Atalay is a Digital Media Producer, Managing Editor at World Moms Network, and a Social Media Manager. She was a 2015 United Nations Foundation Social Good Fellow, and traveled to Ethiopia as an International Reporting Project New Media Fellow to report on newborn health in 2014. On her personal blog, Documama.org, she uses digital media as a new medium for her background as a documentarian. After having worked on Feature Films and Television series for FOX, NBC, MGM, Columbia Pictures, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, and Castle Rock Pictures, she studied documentary filmmaking and anthropology earning a Masters degree in Media Studies from The New School in New York. Since becoming a Digital Media Producer she has worked on social media campaigns for non-profits such as Save The Children, WaterAid, ONE.org, UNICEF, United Nations Foundation, Edesia, World Pulse, American Heart Association, and The Gates Foundation. Her writing has also been featured on ONE.org, Johnson & Johnson’s BabyCenter.com, EnoughProject.org, GaviAlliance.org, and Worldmomsnetwork.com. Elizabeth has traveled to 70 countries around the world, most recently to Haiti with Artisan Business Network to visit artisans in partnership with Macy’s Heart of Haiti line, which provides sustainable income to Haitian artisans. Elizabeth lives in New England with her husband and four children.

More Posts