Cuenta con nosotros Ecuador
The devastating earthquake that ripped through the west coast of Ecuador on Saturday was the worst to hit the country in nearly 40 years.
The death toll continues to rise and thousands have been left homeless along this usually tranquil Pacific coastline, much of which has now been reduced to rubble.
Home to some 16 million inhabitants, Ecuador may be small but the effect of this tragedy has touched the hearts of people across the globe. Calling for the country to pull together in the aftermath of the earthquake, President Rafael Correa told reporters: ‘Everything can be rebuilt, but lives cannot be recovered, and that’s what hurts the most.’
Ecuadorians in Europe
This isn’t just being felt in Ecuador. More than a million Ecuadorians currently live in Spain and the United States alone, and there are as many as two million living abroad in total. As a result, the positive power of remittances is felt strongly here, especially during a time of such desperate need. And what those remittances are spent on tells a moving story of just how crucial the ability is to send money home fast, securely and cheaply. Data from the Living Standard Measurement Survey of Ecuador shows that nearly 44 per cent of remittances are spent on food, 18 per cent on education, 8.3 per cent on eliminating debt, and 7.6 per cent on healthcare.
What can we do?
Of course, in the following weeks, that money will be even more important to the lives of many Ecuadorians and that’s why we have waived our fee for sending money home until the end of April 2016. Ecuador is blessed with so many incredible sights, from towering Andean peaks to the World Heritage-listed Galapagos Islands. Together, we can all do our bit to help rebuild this wonderful country.