“(…) que con toda su fuerza
— Oda a Valparaíso, Pablo Neruda (via kusta-astronaut)
golpeándose en tu piedra
porque en tu pecho austral
y la alegría
las olas de la tierra.”
Pray for Chile
Recently, Chile has been hit with many natural disasters: an earthquake, tsunami and on Saturday, April 12th, a forest fire in La Polvora, Valparaiso.
This large fire consumed seven hills, surrounding Valparaiso, burning 2,500 houses. As a result, more than 11,000 people are now homeless. 15 people died, including an elderly couple who died in embrace; the woman couldn’t escape so the husband returned to their burning home to die with her. The Chileans are using double filtered masks to breathe properly..
Animals were also burned by the fire.
Despite this hardship and loss, Chileans are out in the streets, actively helping the victims of the fire. They are organizing to collect food, clothing and medicine to support the victims — everyone is aware that this disaster is too much for the government to handle, it’s become Chile’s duty to take care of each other.
This firefighter is actually a famous Chilean comedian — his mother passed away last Friday, but when disaster struck, he was out helping others.
Senators and deputies have stepped away from their offices to help put out the flames, the very day it started. Firefighters from across the country were mobilized in Valparaiso and have been fighting the fire for four days straight. Athletes and musicians have held benefit events to encourage Chileans — “Fuerza Valparaiso” which means, Be strong, Valparaiso.
"Many of these people don’t* know each other, but they are all united by a deep feeling of solidarity that characterizes Chile: People helping people.
Being strong is the only way to move the country forward and we know [that] very well…
This is the beauty of my country, many foreigners fall in love with Chile due to its landscapes, while others, including ourselves, loves the way we are… We felt very proud to be Chileans not because of the life style or our achievements, but because of us!”
We are so fortunate to be living our lives of comfort, to have roofs over our heads, which so many people over the weekend in Chile, lost… Please pray for Chile.
Photography : Copyright Javier Valenzuela