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A Devastation That Left a Mark: The 2017 Mexico Earthquake

Alexander Bautista is a student at the University of Alabama in Birmingham who has family from Mexico. His family experienced the terrible earthquake on September 8, 2017, and has written about his point of view of the horrific natural disaster. Read more to find out how he felt about the situation and what you can do to help those affected!

Question: Can you tell me about yourself?
Answer: My name is Alexander Bautista. I was born in Tabasco, Mexico. I moved to Birmingham, AL, in 2009. I graduated from Pelham High School in 2013, and I will be graduating this year from UAB with a Degree in Foreign Languages and Literature, with a concentration in Spanish. I have been admitted into the UAB graduate program, and I will be pursuing a Master’s degree in Spanish & English as a Second Language education.

Q: What was your experience like during the natural disaster in Mexico?
A: I remember that the first earthquake happened at night. It was around 7 A.M. when I got a phone call from my relative, Nayivis Cunill, asking “Están bien tus padres? Are your parents okay? I didn’t know what to say, and I asked her, why? She explained the situation and I told her that I was gonna call my parents. I called my parents right away, but they didn’t answer my call. So, at this point I was worried about them. I called my sister, and she told me that she didn’t know anything about them either. We were very worried about the situation, we tried to call them a couple times, but there was no luck at all. Around noon, I got a phone call from my mother asking if we were okay and I said, “Yes, what about y’all?” My mom was very sad, even though the earthquake didn’t affect Tabasco, she felt bad for those who had lost almost everything. I was glad that my parents were ok, but at the same time I was sad because of the terrible disaster.

Q: What is your experience like today post-natural disaster?
A: I still feel bad for those who have not completely recovered. I am not going to compare the first and second earthquake, because both of them caused many damages. The first one affected the South of Mexico, (I was born in the South), and the second one affected the Capital, Mexico City. I love my country, and I am aware that there are many other things going on right now, but natural disasters can cause traumas in people’s lives.

Q: What would you tell people who may relate to you?
A: I believe that there are not words that can comfort them. But, I will tell them that we have to stay together and fight. I believe in people’s generosity and I am sure that if we all help each other, we will be back on track pretty soon. Also, I believe that the government won’t leave us alone. Our situation is not the best at the moment, but thing are going to get better soon. Finally, I want to thank my friend, Ana Palafox, who just recently graduated from Medical School and she is helping those who need assistance.

Q: What can readers do to help you, your family, or others affected?
A: If you are reading this, I want to thank you. Taking the time to read about the natural disasters in Mexico shows the compassion that you have towards others. I am aware that not everyone has the money to help those who were affected by the earthquake, but if there is something that you can do to help, please do it. There are many families that need basic supplies, food and many other things. If you don’t have any of this, but you have access to social media, please go and share anything that may help others. Lastly, think about not just my family and friends in the South, there are thousands of people in Mexico that need our help.

Thank you Alex for participating in this interview!

If you would like more information about how to donate to the Mexico Earthquake Relief, please visit the following websites:

GlobalGiving, a crowdfunding organization, has pledged that all money donated to its earthquake fund will go to recovery and relief efforts. https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/mexico-earthquake-relief-fund/

Mexican Red Cross has been accepting direct donations online and has set up an Amazon Wish List for necessary items.

Fondo Unido México, part of the United Way network, has created an emergency fund to help the areas affected by the earthquakes as well as the recent series of hurricanes.

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