Locals Send Help to Family in Chile

By: Rachel Alig Email
By: Rachel Alig Email

An 8.8 magnitude earthquake; it's one of the strongest earthquakes to ever hit the country of Chile.

"When I saw that I said my god that's bad," says Pat Alvarez.

Pat Alvarez is from Chile and spent a large portion of his life there. He now lives in Meridian. When he heard of the devastating earthquake that hit his home country, his family that is still there was the first thing to come to mind.

"The first thing I thought about was my daughter, my mother, my brother, and all of the families. My wife's family also," says Alvarez.

Valeria Alvarez-Mize could not agree more with her father. Family from both sides of her parents as well as her sister are in the midst of the tragedy. Mize's sister moved to Chile 13 years ago for mission work. She now has three children and pastors a church with her husband in the nation's capitol, Santiago. Mize has been in contact with her and other family members via skype and email.

"I know that they have power now, but they're still trying to get organization within the country," says Valerie Alvarez-Mize.

Family members of Alvarez and Mize didn't suffer damage to their bodies. They are suffering from the damage surrounding them.

"They are physically OK. Of course the structures around Santiago, where she lives, there's a lot of damage. There's a lot of damage to the roads bridges. The devastation that is there is traumatic. Even though Santiago is three hours away they still had major effects from it."

As for Alvarez, this type of traumatic devastation is not new to him. When he was just 18 years old, he lived through the 9.5 magnitude earthquake that hit Chile in 1960. An experience like that, whether it's 1960 or 2010, is unforgettable.

"It was horrible. It's a period that you will not forget. You have it in your mind and your heart for so long," expresses Alvarez.

The Alvarez family is hoping to get relief to Chile as soon as possible. They are collecting supplies and water throughout the community in hopes of helping.


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