ACI Earthquake Disaster Relief with RCA in Oaxaca, Mexico
This October 2017 ACI traveled with the Reformed Church of America (RCA) to Oaxaca, Mexico where two recent earthquakes devastated much of the southern part of the state in September. The trip consisted of two training sessions at Presbyterian churches of areas that got hit the hardest; San Mateo del Mar and Juchitán. In these areas, ruptured septic tanks and latrines have contaminated almost all of the wells and many children of the families who are unable to buy bottled water have been getting sick. The Mexican government has built new portable latrines in many of the areas and large tanks for “clean” water, but the water is used up faster than it can be supplied.
The first training session was held in the evening after the local Oaxacan missionaries, Jaime and Martha Amaro, gave a tour of the destruction of Juchitán, Oaxaca. Many of the buildings in the town had collapsed, and the others are uninhabitable causing much of the population of the town to live in tents in parks. The session consisted of training several of the church members on how to drill the holes in the buckets and then installing the filter elements in such.
The second training was held the next day in San Mateo del Mar, Oaxaca. This area is very poor and near the ocean. Their wells had been contaminated by destroyed latrines. Right away the small church that was trained started to make a list of the families who were to receive the filters.
All together it was a very successful trip and ACI plans to distribute more filters with RCA in the near future.