BU students raise awareness for Ecuador

Students gather at GSU to raise awareness and collect donations to help those effected by the earthquake in Ecuador

BU Students have gathered at the GSU to raise awareness for the recent earthquake that occurred in Ecuador on April 16th.

With a moment magnitude of 7.8, the earthquake was classified as “severe,” and generated world news.

The incident effected mainly town areas close to the coast, such as Muisne and Pedernales, but also shook the capital Quito. 70 percent of the total casualties occured in Manta, Pedernales and Portoviejo.

Now BU students from Ecuador are reaching to the community at the GSU to ask for donations through the Red Cross foundation.

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(From left to right: Cristina Martinez, Alejandra Ortega, Maria Elisa Vallejo, Pablo Buitrón)

The students were all smiles as they played upbeat music from their country to encourage people to come over to their group to dance, eat some cupcakes and cookies, and donate to their great cause.

“We have gathered all the Ecuadorians here at BU because we want to work to help the people back home who were effected by the earthquake,” said Pablo Buitrón, a SPH Master student at BU.
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Pablo explained that “the funds will be sent to the Red Cross Foundation in Ecuador. They have two different plans: a short term and a long term plan to mobilize and help the civilians of the effected area.”

“I knew a lot of the people who were in the affected cities, and being here in Boston we all feel frustrated that we cannot help them,” explained Pablo. “So this is our way to help out.”

When asked how the media has handled the situation, Maria Elisa Vallejo, CAS ’19, said, “they brought a lot of awareness, which I was happy about, but I think there could always be a little more. A lot of people who walked by today hadn’t even heard of the incident, so I think there could always be more awareness amongst younger students. ”

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The outcome of their fund raising so far seems to be a great success as many students stopped by their table to donate.

“I’m really happy,” said Vallejo. “A lot of people have been willing to lend a helping hand even if it’s just a dollar or two. It’s nice to see that we can all be a community and come together in these times of need.”

One of the donators said that he was Peruvian, and donated to the cause because, “we’re all family and we’re brothers from South America. Everyone needs to look out for one another.”

His donation was accompanied by a chorus of happy “thank yous!” from the team.

Their eyes and smiles seemed to shine brighter at the kindness of the community around them.

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“Ecuador is my country and it’s so sad this had to happen,” said Alejandra Ortega, an exchange student from Universidad San Francisco de Quito. “But we realized now that we have such a strong community among us. Being away in another country makes us all feel powerless, so it is important for us to contribute to the cause.”

If you want to support these students and their mission be sure to check out the GSU today till 5pm, and tomorrow from 9am to 5pm.

If you can’t make it to these events, you can still donate through venmo at @BUforEcuador, and like and support them on their Facebook page.

Their delicious cupcakes, smiling faces, and passionate commitment to this cause will make your heart melt.

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(An Ecuadorian, a Turk, and an American wearing colors of the Ecuadorian flag. We are all family.)

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