By now, I’m sure you’ve all heard of the devastation caused by the Central Mexico earthquake that occurred on September 19th 2017. In case you haven’t, let me fill you in.
At 1:14pm as 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck near Puebla causing immense damage to the surrounding area. More than 40 buildings collapsed, over 200 people were killed and an estimated 6,000 were injured. Several people were trapped inside the buildings, leading to an intense rescue effort by Mexican authorities.
However, rescue workers were not the only heros of this story. Many of Mexico’s citizens have taken upon themselves to be leaders in this moment of crisis. These compassionate and brave people have played an enormous part in rescuing their fellow citizens and beginning the process of rebuilding.
The devastation of the earthquake has demonstrated the strength of Mexico’s people. Civilians, young and old, have come in droves to help those in need. A 17 year old young woman named Regina Villar is living proof of this. She has volunteered to help trauma victims who were injured by collapsing buildings. Speaking of the support of that the local community, she has said
“There are more volunteers than victims because everyone wants to help. Mexico has united and we won’t stop while people are suffering because we feel their pain too.”
Mexico’s people were proactive in the relief efforts from the moment the shaking stopped. Many have helped remove rubble and debris, freeing those who were trapped when buildings fell. Forming human chains around sites of destruction, they have meticulously combed wreckages to find anyone trapped underneath. They have even created a hand signal that calls for silence when a volunteer hears life beneath the rubble.
The response of local communities have been inspiring too. Many have organised relief camps for victims and helped shelter those who lost their homes. Numerous drives were set up by ordinary people to collect food and other supplies for those in need.
A number of young men and women have organised “battery brigades” where they bring cell phone chargers to the victims and volunteers alike. Others have helped create records of those who have been injured and killed, with the hope that their loved ones will be informed as soon as possible.
There is so much we can learn from Mexico’s brave and courageous people. In recent weeks we have been inundated with stories about devastation, destruction and loss of life. But, the worst of times always bring out the best in people.
Sometimes we don’t choose to be leaders, it is thrust upon us. In those times, the best we can do is try to rise to the challenge and act with the best intentions. The best leaders know that achieving a goal is not the work of one person alone but strength in numbers.
The strength and resilience that it takes to band together in a time of need is not done without difficulty. Sacrificing time and resources to help others is no small deed, particularly considering that some volunteers have suffered themselves.
It is almost comforting to know those times such as these so many people are willing to be leaders in a time like this. It shows us that if this were to happen to us we are never truly alone. It reminds us to be philanthropists ourselves and to always ensure that we would be prepared to act in like circumstances.
We send all our kindest thoughts to those who have been affected by the earthquakes in Mexico and commend those who volunteered to help.