8.8: Chilean-Minnesotan reflections and a call for help


8.8. It is not just a digit anymore. It means power and strength. It means the end and a start. It means hands together, a country embracing each other… I am not an expert in numerology and have no intention in becoming one. I am a Chilean living in Minnesota, deeply moved by what Chile and my fellow countrymen and countrywomen are going through.

As it is shown in the video, an 8.8.earthquake and then a tsunami affected Chile at 3:30 am on February 27th, 2010. It was the last weekend of summer break, last weekend of carnivals everywhere. Many people were outside of their hometowns. The moon did not want to miss all the fun either. It was full and bright… big presence. Thanks to the moon many people could see the waters of the Pacific Ocean move back and then form a huge wave.

There is a tiny island, very close to a beach, where around 100 people were camping the night before a fireworks show. That was the best spot to admire the show… Late that night a huge wave came, and more kept coming. The moon was there shining, but her light only helped people see the horror. Only eight survived.

I first heard this story from my dad, who was very touched by it. “I have a picture of you fishing in that island…”, he said. Pictures, meaningful memories. Many Chileans don’t even have pictures of those wonderful moments in those beautiful places. At least my dad has that picture, and at least many Chileans still have the strength and hope.

Probably the ocean devastated towns and lives, but not the strength of the Chilean people. From Minnesota, many of us Chileans are touched by all this. Our land is still shaking. Just a few hours ago there was another 6.7 aftershock. Many are terrified. It will take about 5 years to rebuild most of the towns.

There is a reason why some people survived the earthquake and tsunamis. A second chance? There is a reason why we are all here, just fine, in our warm houses, with our families, and not there…

We are all here, having this special chance to help the ones who are in need. Let’s not waste it. You love your country, so I am sure you can understand how much I love mine. My feet might not be on the land where I was born, but my heart is and has always been. Please make an effort and come to at least one of the events we, Chileans, are organizing. There are no excuses. There are several FUNdraisers (as a friend calls them ) going on: dances, lunches, festivals, an art exhibition coming soon, and more. Contact me and join me to one or all of them! It would mean the world to me and my family GRACIAS!

(If you don’t have time or don’t want to come, there are a couple of accounts in Wellsfargo and US Bank where you can donate money).