Students and the Center for Public Service implement Mexico Earthquake relief efforts

Students+and+the+Center+for+Public+Service+implement+Mexico+Earthquake+relief+efforts

Mariana Deluera

Following the earthquake on Sept. 19 in Mexico City, some Tulane students have been raising funds to donate to those affected.

Senior Mariana Deluera, co-president of the Tulane International Society, remembers the earthquake that devastated her hometown of Mexico City. Though there was a delay in locating a few of her relatives and a friend, her loved ones have been found and are safe.

Deluera and a group of fellow students came together in the aftermath of the earthquake to organize for disaster relief.

“You do feel … impotence, in a sense of, ‘I’m all the way over here. How can I help? How can I help home?'” Deluera said.

The students tabled on McAlister Drive, giving students tamales in return for proof of donations to earthquake relief. They also coordinated a fundraising event on Oct. 4 at Down the Hatch, a bar near Magazine Street, where they held raffles for an entry of $5. Student used their personal contacts to raise awareness about the event and secure prizes that included Saints tickets.

The students raised about $1,500. Down the Hatch also donated 15 percent of its revenue generated from 6 p.m. until close that night to the cause.

Deluera said the aftermath of the earthquake did, however, provide her with the positive experience of meeting more Mexican students on campus, and they “helped home” together.

“It really was just people coming together because they care about their country,” Deluera said.

Katie Houck, associate director of the Center for Public Service, said there may be more opportunities for interested students to assist with the aftermath of the Mexico earthquake in the future.

The Center for Public Service recently launched a 30-day crowdfunding campaign. The focus of the campaign is to raise funds for student-led disaster relief efforts, with a target of $10,000. All money raised will go toward helping students offset trip costs.

Houck added that CPS would like to see students willing to take initiative. In the meantime, as efforts emerge on campus, CPS will post them on its Facebook page. There is also a disaster relief page on the Tulane website, which lists reputable organizations for donations.

Though Mexico’s earthquake has been forgotten by some, drowned out by the disasters that succeeded it, Houck says it is essential to remember how further long-term relief efforts are necessary after the media stops paying attention to the disaster.

“The really important thing that we can do is making sure that we educate ourselves and make sure that those around us aren’t forgetting that this situation is still ongoing and will continue to be ongoing for years to come,” Houck said.