• May 17, 2016

Ecuador: We Are All One!

by Laetitita P.

Guayaquil, Ecuador. Like everyone else in the world, the inhab­i­tants of Isla Trinitaria – the neigh­bor­hood where Heart’s Home is – go about their day. Suddenly the ground begins to shake and every­thing stops! Light at first, it quickly becomes vio­lent and lasts almost a minute – a very long minute.

Most people, coming out of their homes, begin to pray and to ask God’s for­give­ness. Obviously, we find our­selves in the dark, without elec­tricity. An atmo­sphere of incred­ible com­mu­nion makes itself felt in the neigh­bor­hood. When the ground finally stops shaking, it’s the people who are trem­bling, real­izing what just hap­pened.Everyone gives thanks to God, real­izing that many others did not have that chance. A sol­i­darity is born almost spon­ta­neously: each person goes to their neighbor, says hello and embraces them.

This sol­i­darity expe­ri­enced in the heart of our neigh­bor­hood quickly takes on a national dimen­sion. When the elec­tricity returns to Guayaquil, and the country real­izes the breadth of the destruc­tion in the Manabi and Esmeraldas regions, vol­un­teers orga­nize them­selves quickly through social net­works and rush to offer their help. The next day, cen­ters for receiving dona­tions have mul­ti­plied.

This painful event has given birth to a pro­found com­pas­sion in the heart of Ecuadorans. Prayer groups orga­nize every­where. A new gen­erosity is born. We our­selves spent two days helping out at the dona­tion center, sorting piles of clothes that were over thirty feet high and putting together hun­dreds and hun­dreds of kits with can­dles and matches. One of the teenagers next to me, who was making the clothing kits, was drawing a little heart on the tags indi­cating the size and some­times adding a word of encour­age­ment!

In the middle of these immense piles of food and clothes, it seems that everyone – rich and poor, Ecuadoran and for­eigner – are united. So it is that this people – divided by the coast, the Andes moun­tains and the Amazon; between dif­ferent races and lan­guages, and also polit­i­cally divided very strongly in these past few years – this people so torn apart, all of sudden, has become one.

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