The Devastating Ache of Ecuador

Lidia Rios, Public Relations Manager

On the night of April 16, at 6:58 PM, an earthquake with the magnitude of 7.8 struck the coast of Ecuador. It has since been the biggest quake to hit the country with 12 million citizens in over 6 decades. The quake leveled hotels, government buildings, offices, and shops, apart from the thousands of homes. With no other alternative left, the Ecuadorian Government declared state of emergency in six provinces.


Ecuador has not suffered a natural disaster this grim since 1979. The epicenter of the quake was centered on Ecuador’s sparsely populated tourist beaches and fishing ports,-northwest of Quito, Ecuador’s capital.


Cira Ortiz, a resident of Lancaster, California whose in-laws are currently in Quito, Ecuador has had to “keep it together” as she said herself in order to have a calm household after the immense scare she and her family suffered after thinking they had lost their loved ones.


“It’s terrifying to think that someone you love might be suffocating under a fallen building,” Ortiz said. “I remember hearing my family’s voice on the other side of the line and seeing the face of relief my husband had in knowing his parents were safe; it just hurts that not everyone else’s were.”


In the outcome of the tremble the numbers of the death toll have risen in an inexplicable way that simply leaves you at a loss for words. Initially the numbers went from 272-413 deaths and quickly jumped to 500 and currently resides at 654 with expectations for a much higher number. The citizens of those cities in Ecuador who have suffered in an unimaginable way are only being motivated by the little hope they have of finding their families in safe heavens.


Hundreds of after-shocks have continued to rattle Ecuador, some even stronger than the last. Briana Martinez whose family is currently residing in Ecuador suffered great pain upon learning her people were hurt. Adding to her pain was not knowing if her relatives had been struck by the natural disaster.


“I don’t think we ever really stopped to wonder if we’re going to see our loved ones today or tomorrow because we feel like they’re somehow untouchable by life’s disasters,” Martinez says, “but they’re not. We have to remember that we are not invincible, and that we need to love our family at all times and not just when tragedy strikes.”


Fortunately, in times of darkness some light is shed, and more than 3,000 packages of food plus almost 8,000 sleeping kits were delivered on Sunday, April 17. Ecuador’s ally, Venezuela, and neighboring country Colombia, where the quake had also been felt, organized airlifts of humanitarian aid, but the aid continued when The European Union: Spain, Peru and Mexico also vowed to assist Ecuador in their time of need.


Even the president of Ecuador Rafael Correa tries to keep his hopes up, after returning to his home from a trip cut short in Rome; he wasted no time in rushing back.

“ Our grief is very large; the tragedy is very large, but we’ll find the way to move forward,” Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa said. “The Ecuadorean spirit knows how to move forward, and will know how to overcome these very difficult moments.” According to


Correa has estimated damage at $2 billion to $3 billion. Lower oil revenue has already left the country of 16 million people facing near-zero growth and lower investment.

If you wish to contribute to the aid towards Ecuador you can do so using the link below: