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Non Profit Charity
For donation information, contact:

Phone: (970) 430-5797
[email protected]
  
April 16th 2016, Ecuador was struck by the most powerful earthquake the country has seen since 1949. Hundreds of lives have been lost, thousands have been injured and tens of thousands need emergency shelters. With all donations you will receive your donation receipt for your tax return.

Ecuador Earthquake Relief Fund

From the People of Ecuador and Their Families

  1. Peter Stromberg your work helping people is very appreciated , and all civil volunteers that are working hard at the coast rite now. The rains are a big problem for the temporary shelters. Please Help!
    Abe Herrera
  2. Got cell phone data today. Thank you a million times for the donations you made to help Ecuador. have know way of tracking who you are that contributed to the Schwab fund but I want you to know that money has purchased food, water, and supplies for bandages, antibiotics and hand sanitizer. Also it helped to purchase a generator. We now have electricity and supplies are arriving. The grocery store in Bahia is open and receiving stock even though most of Bahia has been evacuated. We can travel there by taking a detour on the beach around a mountain that slide onto the road way burying the road completely. Fresh volunteers are here helping now with more coming.
    Cynthia Kelley
  3. Big hugs to all the great folks helping out with Canoa emergency relief, we have a great team working really hard to get the resources into Canoa and to the people who need them the most. Forces are joining and momentum gaining, Canoa is getting cleaned up, shelters are getting built and water is being delivered with many more deliveries to come in short order.
    Erik Taylor
  4. A rescue dog who was hailed a hero for saving up to seven lives in the aftermath of the Ecuador earthquake has died from exhaustion. Dayko, a four-year-old white Labrador, formed part of the fire service and helped the team by sniffing out survivors in the rubble who may not otherwise have been noticed.However, a combination of heat, dehydration and the huge effort put into the rescue mission took its toll on the brave pup and he died on Friday. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3557937/Ecuador-earthquake-rescue-dog-saved-lives-SEVEN-people-dies-exhaustion.html#ixzz47tBrsnF7 Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
    Daily Mail UK
  5. I am safe in Canoa. It is much worse than I could imagine. People with babies still sleeping in the street. Its a war zone here, martial law, people still coming in from the hills that haven't had any contact. They walk for days with broken legs trying to find help.
    Elizabeth J Stark
  6. Thursday, 21 April, arrived in Ecuador for the first team of 8 doctors of Israel specializing in natural disasters, in order to install a mobile hospital in Canoa in the province of manabi. This camp is ready and operating..
    Consulado H. de Israel en Guayaquil
  7. Canoa needs intervention and humanitarian aid health and urgent, is partially incommunicado, was one of the most affected, the intensity and duration of the earthquake destroyed everything...
    Jennifer Fields
  8. At Peter Stromberg's home and camp is where he is coordinating, first response since the first night of the quake. He is training the guys to be able to help build their own homes safely. And, to get them back working.
    Theresa N Charlie Fritz
  9. 11 days ago Ecuador was struck by the most powerful earthquake the country has seen since 1949. Hundreds of lives have been lost, thousands have been injured and tens of thousands need emergency shelters.
    European Commission - Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection (ECHO)
  10. I visited Canoa and was there for the 1 month anniversary. The devastation is hard to see, but the will of those helping with the demolition and rebuild is amazing. There are many heros that have saved hundreds of lives in Canoa. Thank you all.
    Paul Stromberg
Erik Wenz had a Good Day
Today was a good day! The last four days were spent salvaging a home that is going to be demolished on Monday. The family that lost their home to the earthquake of April 16 are from Virginia and are back there now. They contacted us and asked us to salvage as much as we could, and donate as much as we could. So, after the four days, with the assistance of our friend Kelly... Wilson, we were able to collect items that will be useful to everyone in Canoa. We salvaged a lot of wood, doors, windows and mattresses.
Krista Wenz was taking a taxi to Bahia the other day and got into a conversation with one of the local taxi drivers. He explained that he and his family lost their house and were living in a tent. Krista asked if there was anything that they needed right now. The driver explained that they really needed mattresses for his family. Well, we had some small mattresses that were donated by Maria Guadalupe Morales that were perfect for their two children. Following our salvage, we returned to Canoa with two other mattresses, one a full and the other a king (which may take up the whole tent). We were able to donate the mattresses today which went not only to the same family, but also the mother and father of the taxi driver who are also living in the tent camp. None of this would be possible without the caring support of the people who are willing to give up their belongings to help those who are really in need.
The donations that we have received have and are going to those who need it the most. Thanks go to all who have given of themselves and continue to support efforts here in Canoa and the surrounding area.
We are still searching for donations to purchase some equipment to continue our efforts in not only demolition, but reconstruction of this wonderful area.
Donate to Erik

Lets Return Canoa to its Glory

Well this is the first time I've had internet since the quake. A lot has happened since then. It's ten times worse than you can imagine, so please dont forget about us!  We need help for years to come.
Hug your kids, kiss your wife, tell your mom you love her, and everybody else for that matter. You never know if it's the last chance you get to remind people that you care.

Peter Stromberg, Earthquake Survivor

Watching the World Go By

Sometimes it's crazy to watch the world go by, when your world is standing still. Thank you to all the doctors, interns and assistants who left their families to take care of others. Many of the people I've talked to had the moment of "this is the end". It was that destructive. I feel such mixed emotions to have gone through it unscathed...but much of our community is feeling true, guttural loss. You cannot unsee the things and destruction we've seen...but, I know my community..and I know we will get through this better and more united. So many people are making this a bit more manageable to accept. Please pray for all those who are still unaccounted for and have no home to go home to. The spirit of Ecuador stays strong though...and help is on the way, I hear."

Maija Stromberg, Earthquake Survivor
Helping Canoa
Locals Grateful for a Helping Hand
Terrence Wade describes helping the local people of Canoa and how grateful they were for the smallest things. He was left feeling bad about the situation.  They have so little and appreciate so much, and it is the type of things we take for granted. Terrence helped Canoa more than anyone would be expected to do, all the while telling jokes, learning Spanish, and singing songs. Terrence is my hero and many others I am sure.
  

That Night

Written By: Cathy Cooper Corliss 7/7/16
It has been hard for me to think about "that night".... but in an effort to try and begin the mental healing process, I am going to share my recollection of events. Similar to how my body has begun the slow process of healing, with the help of daily, in-home physical therapy, I am hoping that acknowledging the events, through writing, will help "exercise" (and exorcise!) my mind...I apologize, in advance, for the length and for inconsistent tenses; I was mainly focused on allowing the memories flow (finally!).
We had been at the Shak in the morning and afternoon...we left the Shak, midday, and returned home to relax for a bit. Alan Corliss and I were in our bedroom, on the 3rd floor; I was watching a Netflix series on my laptop and Alan was on his iPad, finalizing our taxes and getting ready to send them out. Kyrstin Corliss had just come in from surfing and was back-and-forth between our room and her room, on the 2nd floor.
The lights flickered - kind of like a little power hit/surge...and then, again... (in the split-second between the two, I was thinking nothing more 'deep' than, "oh no... if we lose power, we won't be able to shower tonight"...little did I know that 'showers' would be the least of my concerns for the foreseeable future...). During the time between flickers, while I was thinking about innocuous power and showers, Alan's thoughts went in a very different direction... (he had had a dream, the night or 2 before, in which we were hit by an earthquake IN THE VERY HOUSE THAT WE WERE STAYING IN, and it had instantly crumbled. In fact, he had told me about his dream that afternoon. Of course, I didn't give it much thought or concern, because -- well -- it was A DREAM! Again, little did I know that 'dreams' would impact my reality for the foreseeable future, as well...). So, as I started saying, between flickers, Alan's thoughts immediately go to "earthquake" and he jumps off the bed and yells, "Earthquake! Get out of the house!". And I look at him, kind of not registering fear (again, this is between the two flickers, when I was thinking power & showers) ...and he kept repeating it, "Earthquake! Get out of the house, now!", as he ran down the stairs. My side of the bed was further from the stairs, so by the time I got to the top of the stairs, he had made it to the bottom and had turned back to try to help Kyrstin and I. While at the top of the stairs, I felt the ground rumble.... now, I'll be honest...I really only expected this rumbling to last for a few seconds, at the intensity of earthquakes I've felt in New Hampshire (you know...the kind, after which, we all say, "hey, did you feel that?!...do you think it was an earthquake?"). Once again, little did I know that this earthquake would redefine the word 'earthquake', making it synonymous with 'terror', 'devastation' and 'ever-present fear'...
As I began descending the stairs, the rumbling quickly changed to an indescribable thrashing...I don't mean 'a little unsteadiness'...I mean 'I'm, literally, being thrown - THROWN - from one side of the cement wall, into the other, like a pinball machine'...I hit the walls at least 4 times - HARD - so hard, it was unbelievable...and I was also being thrown up and down, such that I would float up off the stairs and hit back down. This will sound strange but the "pinball back-and-forth" activity felt so fast, yet the "up-and-down" felt like slow motion; I think it may be because it was closer to the point of implosion...
As I was being pummeled on the stairs, I was yelling, "Alan! Alan! Help me!". As he looked up the stairs to try to get to me, that's all he could do is look...because, obviously, the impact was throwing him all over, as well. He could see the house crumbling down around me, from behind, almost as if it was chasing me. I had no idea where Kyrstin was at this point....
This shaking was unlike anything I ever could have imagined or, as I said before, unlike anything I can even describe...it was pure terror.
And then.... the next thing I know.... I am face-down, buried under rubble. I realize that Alan is yelling to me...I am able to say his name...I ask where Kyrstin is...at the same time as he answers, I hear her screaming...Alan tries to get to me but realizes his leg is messed up and says he feels like he's going to go into shock...I tell him, "yell for help!", which he does. As he is yelling, I try to assess myself: breathing is difficult for me, as is talking....my mouth is full of broken teeth, rocks & cement...I realize that I cannot feel my body at all...
I snap back to the overall scene as Alan starts telling me what happened -- that the house, this three-story house, had fallen on us and I am buried under everything. Kyrstin was yelling to us and I couldn't yell so I told Alan to tell her that we are ok and to conserve her air...I had no idea how long we would be buried here and I didn't want us to suffocate. (Later, I would learn that Kyrstin couldn't hear her father yelling to her so she had no idea that we were even alive, let alone hear about conserving air...). My memory, here, begins to fade in-and-out, but Alan told me that I began saying things like, "I love you...tell the kids how much I love them...tell my mother and brothers and everybody how much I love them".........he kept saying, "stay with me, Cathy! Stay with me!"....

Soon, I heard voices... Myla Waite's voice, then Walker Waite's ... Adam Nolan's ...IrishMark Hamill's ...there were other people, as well (Michaela Joyce D'Amico, Victor, Marc Chiasson, Chantal Le Bon , Alfredo Cerom Estacio Lopez , Davis Arturo Cardenas Veliz, etc), but these are the voices that I, distinctly, heard at that moment..."We're going to get you out of there, Cathy!"..."We're coming for you sweetheart!"..."Talk to us...where are you?"...etc. I remember wondering how they had already gotten out of their houses (because I was thinking everyone's houses had collapsed, like ours...this wasn't the case...most of the surrounding houses were fine...they may have had damage, but they hadn't collapsed).
They rescued Alan first, since he had the least amount of debris on him and they could quickly get him out. He was in terrible pain (he would, ultimately, need surgery for a hip replacement), but he was free of the house's grip. They assessed Kyrstin's and my circumstances to determine the next course of action; Kyrstin, miraculously, had not been physically injured, but she had been on the 2nd floor when the earthquake occurred and was now trapped amongst the three-stories of debris. (note: I am not going any further into her account of this nightmare, as it is uniquely her experience and her story to share or not share. I shared this tiny amount for context purposes.). Because she was "not physically hurt" and I was, they decided to get me next. They began carefully removing cement, bricks and other debris to make their way towards me. I don't know if I remained conscious throughout the entire process but I know they kept talking to me, reassuring me that they were going to get me out. I asked about Alan and Kyrstin they reassured me that Alan was already out and they were getting Kyrstin after me. As they removed debris and got closer to me, they realized that there was a huge beam laying across the back of my head. 
Remember, I was thrown such that I am face-down....so this long beam, which is about 6 inches by 6 inches thick and made of a heavy hardwood, has me pinned down by my head (this is, ultimately, what caused, both, my broken neck and my traumatic brain injury, TBI). Because the beam was so long, (and therefore, still buried under all the adjacent debris), they had to figure out how to get me out from under it without making the entire area shift and collapse (while massive aftershocks continued to hit us AND there was fear of a tsunami!). To say that these friends risked their lives helping us, is not an exaggeration....it is straightforward fact. Unbelievably amazing. Somehow, they got me out. Since I couldn't move and/or feel my body, combined with the fact that the beam had pinned me by my skull, they created an improvised backboard by using a surfboard (genius!). I was bleeding all over (my face had been mangled...we thought my nose had been broken, but what had actually happened was, the impact had crushed bones in my face, creating an "empty space" that my nose "shifted into”. So my nose shifted to the right of my face. In addition to the impact on my face and body from the 3-story fall, there was impact "inside" my mouth from driveway rocks that had filled my mouth. The reason I'm even bothering to mention this is because those rocks shattered my teeth and caused my lip to split up to the nose, adding to the complexity of the face/nose injury that I just mentioned. (All of this would later be tackled with facial reconstruction surgery). Maija Burglin Stromberg and Peter Stromberg were here now, as well, and Maija helped clear the blood, teeth and rocks from my mouth. (Maija would be by my side, constantly, for the next week or more ❤️).
After they cleared me from the house, they began working too free Kyrstin. I may have blacked out at this point, because the next thing I remember is being loaded into Court Rand and Sylvain Gallea's truck. Alan and Sherry Rand were in the front of the truck and Maija, Michaela and I were in the back (note, a lot of the specific names were filed in for me later - I didn't have a lot of awareness at the time...I do remember being in pain, though!). The pain from every movement was unbearable but necessary. What *wasn't necessary* is the length that Court and Sylvain went to, to get me to a hospital setting!!! Because, the roads had buckled, a small bridge had been compromised AND a huge cliff had slid onto the road we were on, making it unpassable...but rather than let this stop them, they physically tore through dense brush and bushes to make their way onto the beach and then drove the rest of the way on the sand. Unbelievable.
When we arrived at the hospital, we couldn't go in; a triage area had been set up outside because the hospital was too damaged. In this outdoor triage area, they cleaned the blood from my face and sewed me up with some primitive-looking stitches (i.e., huge shoelace looking things! ha-ha I didn't care at the time!!!). [Quick side story...while the doctor was stitching me up, Maija looked around and realized we were the only people in the triage area...there had been word, again, of a possible tsunami so everyone else had taken off to higher ground! Can't blame them! But it is a scary and vulnerable feeling. Ok, so stitches in...no tsunami...back to the story...] Aaannnddd then we sat...and sat...........Alan was in a lot of pain and kind of in-and-out of it the rest of the night. It was opposite for me - I became more aware of things, at this point. So it was a very long night. And none of us were able to get any additional medical treatment, x-rays or anything because the neighboring hospitals were damaged and/or had collapsed completely. Throughout the night, more and more injured friends and strangers arrived at the "hospital" we were at.
The next day was filled with more waiting...neighboring cities' hospitals had collapsed and/or been inundated with patients so we were just in a holding pattern. I started saying that I can't just wait here...I need to get out of here, to a real hospital or I am going to be permanently paralyzed (again, I couldn't move or feel my body - everything was pins and needles). I could also feel my lungs filling with fluid (I would later have 600 milligrams of fluid removed from my lungs!). I *knew* I needed a hospital (while I had been worried about fluid in my lungs and being paralyzed, I hadn't really been worried about dying, at this point...little did I know that doctors would say I wouldn't have lasted another 24 hours....). Peter took control of trying to figure out how to get us to a hospital. During a time when utter chaos was the only state of being, Peter worked miracles. After another interesting truck-bed ride (remember that, Henry J. Wonsey!), a private plane would soon be taking Maija and I to Guayaquil (Alan and I had already been separated, sent to different holding areas based on injury severity). In addition to pulling a private plane and pilot out of the air, Peter and Marcos Chiluisa also had a neurosurgeon waiting for me in Guayaquil! I mean, without someone being *in* this post-earthquake situation, it's hard to adequately describe how dire the infrastructure and communication was at the time, but suffice it to say that, the fact that they were able to make this happen was truly unbelievable.
So many people helped save our lives ....so many things had to fall into place, perfectly, for us to have made it to this point. We are thankful beyond any amount we thought you could be thankful! We appreciate all the support from family, friends and strangers! Love to all!