This is a short story on how Limelight Health, Inc. The company I work for, helped Mexico City after the earthquake. Thanks a lot for all this, people! We appreciate it!
So, we got a pretty bad earthquake in Mexico, affecting Mexico City, and the state of Morelos and Puebla. We have to get out the street and walk back to home, in the middle of fire, no data, no power and general chaos.
The day after the earthquake, my sister called me and told me she was going to Costco, to get stuff. She offered to buy some stuff in my name, so she send me her credit card number. I search for all my cash, like $200 USD. I put that in her account in the 7–eleven store. After that, I went to walk around.
I was checking around my home, since I heard that there was some bad damage in buildings similar to the one I’m living.
I found things that were heartwarming, like this:
After more walking, I started to see some other stuff:
Check the detail:
More people was sharing internet and power outlets:
Around my home, there is a large number of expats from different origins, having some neat business. Since we lost data and power, some old tricks were back, like leaving messages:
More buildings in bad shape:
People was already starting to get some stuff for the people digging holes to get people out from the fallen buildings:
Some people was using drones to find out for damages in the roof, or checking gas tanks:
More damage here:
Man, seems that the bathroom is mostly usable (if you can get there):
Nicolas from Limelight Health sent me a message, telling me that he worked with us, that he was originally from Mexico City and offered me to help or donate. I told him that I will first ask how we can help the most. I continue walking.
Then I started to find some official vehicles:
I was walking towards a disaster: a building (with people) fall and the government were trying to get people out. Video here: https://youtu.be/GtNIBATNBpM
I went to a donation center, to find out what was really needed (people was bringing water, tuna cans and stuff) but I wanted to know how to have a bigger impact in the donation. I asked the guy in the donation center, a guy from Red Cross Mexico and I got a video, so I can share it in Twitter and Facebook. Video here: https://youtu.be/wdwNQCedFD0
They told me that people was thinking in adults, but seems that Mexico City has a lot of babies too, and babies don’t eat from tuna cans. And babies need diapers, and food and milk and so much stuff.
Then a close by building fell down. A team was sent there, to asses the damages:
Then I search for a pharmacy to get stuff for babies. No power, no credit cards allowed. I continue walking and found this image:
And then, I cried. We were alive. My family was alive. My beloved were ok. I was alive, and kicking and doing stuff. Walking. Eating. Breathing. Man, It’s sad that takes something this extreme to get it.
I moved to a super market: closed. I walk and walk and walk, and find a supermarket open, with power and connection to the banking system. I got the initial stuff out of my credit card, some diapers:
They included a bottle each, so it was good for people who did not have a baby bottle around. Then I went back home, since I was about to have a meeting.
At home, I got this via messenger:
I dont know if it’s real. Or photoshop. But was really nice. Then I find out that maybe it was a picture taken in Peru, but unsure. Still, captures the moment in a beautiful and hopeful way.
Then I got a call from Jason, the CEO of Limelight Health, Inc. (the company I have worked for … like 3 years). He asked me about Me, Marco, our families and so on. And he offered me to think about how they can help. I appreciate the call pretty much. It’s really nice when someone busy as Jason take some time to make a call to do this kind of call.
I initially refuse to accept the offer, since I did not know how to process it or so, but later, with some thinking and some people around me getting better organized, I understand that everything could help. So I shared my personal paypal account to get donations. Some people started contacting me, upset because I was sharing my personal paypal. I explained to them that I researched what were the local needs and that helping thru official channels could take days (or worst). My thought was with the babies and that they need to be feed ASAP, no in few days or weeks. So, I continue.
I started to get some donations, and once I got the initial money, I started to spend it getting stuff for the little ones:
Then, more money arrived, so I went to the super market again:
So, the night fell down and I got a call. Someone was saying that a building fall close to my home. They asked me to do the initial assesment:
And yeah, it was down. But planned. Seems that the structure was damaged beyond any reparation. So the army just took it down. But no victims or so in the building (well, just homeless, i guess).
Some people donated more money, so I wake up and went for more stuff:
We put it in a local donation center, that will be sending everything to Xochimilco, another affected area in the city, with lots of babies:
Then I went to the coworking space, and found this:
Then I got yet another donation! So I went and get more stuff:
Later that day, someone from the company (who wants to remain anonymous) send me a big donation. $500. I though it was an honest mistake, so I contacted the person and warned about it. Told me that the amount was right. Man, I cried again.
Later, got a mail from the LLH CFO, telling that they will match donations up to $1000. Wow. This is an emotional roller coaster: So sad because of the earthquake, and the deaths. So happy because people was so willing to help and donate and make things happen.
I’m super grateful of what my colleagues have done with their help. I’m so happy to be in this company and so happy that I’m able to walk and get stuff for others. Thank so much, guys. I really appreciate your help.