Faced with the aftermath of Tuesday’s earthquake, thousands of men and women took to the streets in Mexico City to offer their support in rescue efforts and collection of food and supplies.
These anonymous heroes have an unbeatable determination and are showing the world the greatness of the Mexican people.
For them, there is no better reward than seeing a child being pulled alive from the rubble. For them, there is no greater satisfaction than receiving a smile from people who hand them a taco or a bottle of water.
Today, just as it happened 32 years ago, Mexico is united again. The streets of the city are witness to the solidarity and strength of the Mexicans who, without respite from the start of this disaster, continue to offer their help to those who need it most. The images that account for it, can be seen throughout the city.
Children with their parents carrying shovels and buckets to help remove debris, as well as groups of friends carrying water, clothing and food to the collection centers, they the living postcards of this city.
Claudia Sanchez, a housewife, coordinates the collection of food at the Cultural Center Lomas Estrellas, where since the earthquake they have been receiving displaced people.
Like many women, she is a hero today. “There is a lot of misfortune right now and we need to get up, because Mexico has to stand to help all the people who need it,” Claudia replied, questioning why she became a volunteer.
For these flesh-and-blood heroes, hunger and fatigue are left aside when helping others. This is the case of Tomas Vázquez, a programming technician who from early on came to the area to offer his support however he could. While talking, his eyes and tired hands stay focused on his mission.
“I came to support because my father taught me since I was a child that I must help people who need it and today is the day. Here we have had a lot of support and donations, all day long loads of food have been dispatched to places in need,” said Tom, a hero in action.
There are wounds that never heal and for people like Victoria Aranda, who is a cook, life gave her a second chance after the earthquake of 1985 and today she has fed all the volunteers present at the Lomas Estrella Cultural Center.
“I was damaged in 85 and there are things that I do not forget, that’s why we come to support people with food to help them lift their spirits and to know that they are not alone that we will recover,” commented this courageous woman.
There have been nearly 2,000 collection centers organized by citizens. Doctors and nurses are in the streets working, area hospitals are accepting all emergencies at no cost. Nearly 30 veterinarian clinics have been opened to help injured pets. Dozens of people have opened their homes to pets who have been displaced.
In the streets, thousands of people have formed lines, passing debris and carefully searching for survivors in collapsed buildings.
Street vendors are working, but not for money, they are distributing food to these anonymous heroes in the streets. Restaurants have signs ‘gratis’, advertising they are open for free meals. People have opened their homes to strangers who have been displaced and hotels are offering free lodging.
Like these people, thousands of Mexicans, regardless of their social status, are now offering the best of themselves to the people who today require as much help as possible.
They are, and will be, the bastions that will raise from the ashes and be the heroes that Mexico, and the world need.