We're hoping to join my friends this weekend in the manglares (the mangroves in the northwest, near the border of colombia), so we're catching a night bus back to quito. Fortunately the highway is all cleared up and we should be able to get through directly... we'll see what kind of view we can get of the damage at night. I finally remembered to look up John's friend Gabriel's blog and put the link up for y'all. He's an american turned campesino... he speaks quicha and raises cuy with his indigenous wife. They live in the salasaca community which is super close to the volcano... he has incredible video of the first eruption. After that one, back in july, when the goverment didn't do anything productive, his community and others (despte not being much better off) stepped in to help the victims whose lands were destroyed or who lost their crops and livestock. He and John also went above and beyond, raising money from friends and fam in the us, and singehandedly brought truckloads of food to the victims - the only aid a lot of those people recieved. Now his community is in the same shape, and those other communities are even worse off, and the government's help mostly consists of building houses that most likely aren't in good farming land and/or are also in volcano danger zones. I've heard talk of international aid, but who knows how that will filter down. The point is, you should definitely check out his blog for some first hand descriptions of the conditions and his and john's previous aid effors - or at least scroll down to see the photos. Also, since at least my dad has expressed interest, if you have a desire to donate some money please let me know and i will coordinate with gabriel.
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