Mar 1 2010

CFCA staff are fine

The following is an email sent Saturday evening by Sara Leiva, CFCA coordinator in CFCA Project Valparaiso, Chile, to Henry Flores, director of Communications Center in El Salvador, about her first impressions of the 8.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Chile early Saturday morning.

Dear Henry,

Good afternoon. Thank you very much for sharing the worries and concerns of the CFCA community. We have power in some areas of Valparaiso, Chile, and I was able to send this email from my sister’s house.

It was 3:35 a.m., when the earthquake started. We are kind of used to this because Chile is an area with high possibilities of earthquakes; however, this earthquake kept going longer than usual. It was then when my husband, Luis, our son and I tried to secure ourselves in the safest section of our apartment.

The noise was terrible. In spite of having the lights off, they began turning on and off by themselves. Shortly after that, the power went off. From my home, you can usually see all of Valparaiso and ViÒa del Mar, but when I looked outside, everything was dark. The water was off, too. Everything was full of dust, and phones lines had collapsed.

Some time later, some of my CFCA colleagues started to phone me, because we could not call out. Praise God, they were fine. At this moment, I can say that my family is well, too. Praise God, the construction in Chile is strong and can withstand the full force of the earthquakes.

As soon as we had daylight, I went to the CFCA office. On my way to there, I saw some areas of Valparaiso. They are very affected because they are historical constructions and not as strong as present-day buildings. I saw houses collapsed and many destroyed walls. The CFCA office looks OK. When I entered, I saw everything on the floor, the walls have cracks and the place is full of dust.

One of the walls on the first floor have collapsed, and there was water coming out from somewhere. I contacted some firemen who were working in the area, and they helped me close it. The firemen told me that I needed to report the damages because some of the walls are loose and dangerous. They suggested that we evacuate the office building.

We immediately took the files and other important things to the houses of some of the staff members to keep them safe. We knew that in situations like this there is always a high risk of robbery. After that, I visited the house of some of the staff members: Luis Olivares, Olga and Mauricio. We need to contact a friend of ours who is an engineer to have him assess the damages we have in the office.

The most affected area is located south from Valparaiso, and at this moment, we are in alert of tsunamis. The islands in front of Valparaiso are being affected by the high waves.

Henry, we strongly believe that our CFCA families are very scared, without running water, power or communications, but we are hopeful that they are well. As soon as we receive more news, we will notify you. We hope to have a steadier channel of communication, because we wonít be able to go back to our office for some time.

Thank you for your concern. I will be in touch.

Sara

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0 thoughts on “CFCA staff are fine”

  1. Be assured that I and others are keeping you all in our prayers. We remembered you in our intercessions yesterday during Mass. Merton

  2. Is there any word on how the city of Quintero (35 miles north of Valparaiso) withstood the quake? My sponsored family, which I’ve visited there a couple of times, lives there.

    I hope and pray for their health and well-being (and for all the Chilean people).

  3. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with the whole Valparaiso Project and especially with our sponsored grandmother who lives there. Our daughter’s family has a sponsored child in Chile as well. We look forward to knowing what we can do to help. Thank you for all you do.

  4. Thank you so much for posting Sara’s email. Our sponsored child is in Casablanca and naturally we are anxious for her and her family and pray for their safety and security. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. I know you are still in assessment stages; please let us know what we can do to be of help. Blessings.

  5. We are anxious for our friends – our sponsored child Kevin in Petorca, and 2 families we met when they lived in USA (Minolettis and Valenzuelas). We pray at home for Chileans and remembered them at our weekend Masses.

  6. I am so happy to see this posting. I’ve been trying to find out how you were. we have 2 children in the Valparaiso Project and hope they are well and not injured. God keep you all in the palm of His hand.

  7. Thank you for this news of Valparaiso. Will CFCA let me know if my new, elderly friend there needs some special help? Thanks. Blessings to all of you there in Chile.

    1. Mary,

      Thanks for your question. If we receive critical information about the well-being of sponsored individuals, we will contact their sponsors. Thank you again for your concern.

      Sincerely,
      Ashley
      Sponsor Services

  8. I was relieved to hear that the staff of Valparaiso are safe and hope that the damage to the office is not too extensive. My prayers are with all the people in Chile who are affected by this catastrophe. I was wondering if we would be able to make a special donation to the Valparaiso Project to help in recovery.

  9. I have been praying for all of you and especially for my sponsored child and his family.

    Is there any word of the families in the rural area near La Liqua?

    PLEASE NOTIFY ME IF THERE IS ANYTHING SPECIFIC I CAN DO TO HELP.

    Please reassure them they we are holding them and their situation up in prayer.

    God Bless you all for the wonderful work you do.

  10. I sponsor a child in Chile and hope to hear that all the sponsored children and adults and their families are okay. Prayers to all of those affected by the earthquake. God bless the CFCA staff.

  11. We are concerned and praying for Arevik Almendra and her family and all in Chile. May God and His
    mercy help and protect all of you. Thank you for all that you do.

  12. We sponsor a boy, Bernardo, and a grandmother, Margarita. We, too, are interested in helping with specific needs of the projects and affected families. Please keep us posted.

  13. We are all concerned fore Juan Carlos nand his family. Please let us know ANY news. We pray for a good outcome for all in Chile.

  14. Waiting to hear from our chlds family’s well being Jocelyn from Valparaiso…any news ? Will there be a list on this site of any injured or deceased from the earthquake ? All the people of Chile- we keep you in prayer daily. Much love to all !

  15. Happy to hear that all the staff are o.k.. Anxious to hear about my sponsored child Danitza [Dani] Alejandra. I visited her a year ago and met her sister Marcela and her mother. Am worried about all and are keeping all my new friends and neighbors in my prayers. Thank you for keeping us informed..

  16. Is there any way we can help by sending things such as blankets, clothing, or other necessities? I am worried about my sponsored child, Byron, and his family in Valparaiso. I hope and pray that their house is intact and that they have adequate food and water.

    1. Mary,

      Thank you for your question and concern for our friends in Chile. While we appreciate your desire to help, we do not collect or send material goods from the U.S. for our projects. The cost of sending supplies is expensive and purchasing supplies locally helps the economy in the areas where we work. Your prayers are the most valuable to Byron at this time.

      In emergency situations, CFCA assesses the circumstances to determine if additional funding is necessary to help cover needs of sponsored friends and their families. If the need is there, CFCA is able to provide additional financial support to our projects through the Disaster Assistance Fund. Donations received for this fund help to address the emergency needs of sponsored members and their families. The fund has been used to help meet emergency needs following earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, typhoons, floods and mudslides.

      Please continue to monitor our website for updates regarding the CFCA families and staff in Chile. Please contact Sponsor Services at 1-800-875-6564 if we can be of further assistance.

      Thank you for your care and support of the children and aging that we serve!

      Sincerely,

      Claudia
      Sponsor Services

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