As many of you may know by know, our friends in Ecuador suffered a major 7.8 magnitude earthquake a couple of weeks ago, devastating the country's coastal towns. Ecuador's President, Rafael Correa, said the quake caused $3 billiion in damages, and that reconstruction will take years.
ROW Adventures has been in love with Ecuador and the Galapagos since the early 80s, and we are truly devastated by last weekends major earthquake and the aftershocks. With over 650 people dead, many more missing, and over 20,000 homes and businesses destroyed, the victims' families, the injured, the survivors, and the towns are in desperate need of help.
It is wonderful to see how many rescue missions are already in place, but they still need more. To help, ROW Adventures will donate $100 from every Ecuador and Galapagos Islands reservation made between now and May 31, 2016, for travel in 2016 and 2017, to the Ecuador Relief Earthquake Fund.
Some tours to consider include:
- Galapagos Unbound
- Galapagos & Mainland Ecuador Multisport Tour
- Galapagos Islands Vacation
- Galapagos Islands Luxury Adventure Cruise
- Galapagos Family Vacation
- Galapagos Christmas Cruise
- Galapagos Islands: Christmas Vacation
In addition, for those of you already booked on a Galapagos or Ecuador tour, we strongly encourage you not cancel your trip. The Galapagos Islands were not affected by the quake, and while the areas that serve as the gateways to the Andes, Amazon, and Galapagos did endure the worst of it, they remain open and operational. The last thing Ecuador needs is for one of their most important industries - tourism - to come to a halt. Travel to the country is determined to be safe, and Ecuador needs your support now more than ever. Here is an article about travel to Ecuador, and an official update from Ecuador's Ministry of Tourism. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out.
We know past and future Galapagos and Ecuador adventurers are watching the news and checking in on their guides and friends, so even if you are not planning to book a trip, please do not hesitate to contribute directly to the Ecuador Relief Earthquake Fund - every single penny helps. We know that many of our ROWmers share our commitment to philanthropy, as well as our love for each of our incredible destinations. Together we can help restore Ecuador.
What Our Partners in Ecuador Are Doing to Help
Since the earthquake in Manabi on April 16th, the entire country has been incredibly involved in helping in many ways. As individuals, the immediate help we put together was donations of food, clothes, and other things like towels, blankets, and so forth for imminent needs. Some of us have also volunteered in time and efforts to either collect donations from others and take them to the headquarters, helping inside the headquarters where they need so many hands, helping with animal rescue organizations, helping the Red Cross, and even donating blood.
As with the earthquake in Chile, there have been a lot of immediate help and donations; however, later on, the donations start to drop until little by little people start forgetting. So, our strategy is to wait a few weeks, and then determine where we can help the most.
With this in mind, our strategy is to donate about $2,000 toward materials needed for reconstruction efforts, and organize our time and work in the office so that any of us here on the team can go volunteer in Manabi. This also applies to the moms whose husbands are going as volunteers, and they need more flexibility with their schedule to take care of the children at hom. We are also helping organizations locally to try and find homes for so many pets that were left and need a home. Finally, we are encouraging guests to travel there, purchase things there, spend money, stay at hotels, eat, etc., as a way to rebuild the economy and keep funds coming into the region.
The staff at Red Mangrove, as well as the company, donated non-perishable food to the mainland relief efforts after the Manta earthquake. We are also working with the Cinterandes Foundation (http://www.cinterandes.org/index.php/en/), founded by Edgar Rodas and his son, both doctors, who offer their time to help others around our country. Cinterandes has been offering their mobile hospital, along with a large number of doctors, to the cities of Pedernales, Canoa, Jama and Manta. One of our staff members, Hernan, has travel several time to donate and transport all types of medicine and supplies they are in need of. In addition, all Red Mangrove staff donated $100 from their monthly salary to relief efforts. We know it is not a lot, but as you may say, every penny counts.