By Santiago, Chile Relief Team (Originally in Spanish)
In March and April 2015, one of Earth’s driest regions, the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile, was inundated by unusually heavy rainfall that caused massive flooding and mudslides in the area as well as in nearby regions such as Tarapacá, Antofagasta and Coquimbo. Reports indicated that at least 25 people lost their lives, about 140 went missing, and almost 3,000 were displaced. More than 8,200 homes were either damaged or destroyed, and blocked roads required that some residents be rescued by helicopter. Chile’s president, Her Excellency Michelle Bachelet, thus declared a state of emergency in the Atacama Desert region.
After learning the sad news of the event, Supreme Master Ching Hai provided US$15,000 in relief funds and asked our Chilean Association members to help those in need. On April 21, our relief team from the Santiago Center traveled for approximately 10 hours to the affected community of Tierra Amarilla in Copiapó Province, Atacama Region to render aid. Over the next three days, accompanied by Reverend Guido Castagna of the local parish of Our Lady of Loreto and volunteers Ms. Maritza and Ms. Jacqueline, we distributed 150 relief kits, each containing blankets, kitchen and cleaning supplies, candy and an envelope with CLP 10,000, to people who had lost their homes.
The recipients were deeply grateful and conveyed their greetings and thanks to Supreme Master Ching Hai. We were moved to witness that Master’s divine light had given the Chilean people courage and raised their spirits during a time of need.
Expenditures by Supreme Master Ching Hai for Flood Relief Work in Chile
|150 relief kits (blankets, kitchen supplies, cleaning supplies, candy and CLP 10,000 for each family)||7,034,379||A|
|Mini chargers for removing mud from houses||2,000,000||B|
|Food for puppies and kittens||170,700||C|
|Total|| CLP 9,205,079