Posted by: calloftheandes | April 28, 2016

Notes from the Quake Zone (Second in a Series)

Drs. Steve Nelson, Joe Martin, Hugo Espejo, Paola Pérez, and Jack Peña.

Drs. Steve Nelson, Joe Martin, Hugo Espejo, Paola Pérez, and Jack Peña.

(20 April 2016. Atacames, Esmeraldas Province, Ecuador)

by Steve Nelson

There was another tremor last night, strong enough to make most people leave the building. It didn’t seem as strong as the Saturday one so I stayed put and Joe slept through it.  Our partners were out in the parking lot in their shorts however.

A large convoy of trucks laden with food went through here an hour or so ago, [intended] to reduce the possibilities of tensions in Muisne. We hope to go to Chamanga tomorrow, which is another one and a half hours farther south. But there will be no police presence there so we’ll get a little smarter today.

We heard of a number of communities that haven’t been reached yet but apparently they were small enough—and with simple enough buildings—that there weren’t injuries. So although they are damnificados [refugees] they don’t need medical attention. And that’s probably the best thing since they are up to six hours away by a river.

I am starting to realize that you feel tragedies that come in different grades. We’ve got a friend, Pepe, who has his son and daughter-in-law and grandson still trapped under rubble.  Then there are those who have lost their homes or are injured. Then there’s the macro view of the economy in this area which is totally dependent on tourism and the city of Atacames is just basically empty.  Many of the buildings here have structural damage—including the place where we are staying—and will have to be repaired and inspected presumably before the can cater to guests again.

Dr. Nelson is a family practice physician with Reach Beyond.


  1. […] near the soccer field and the place belongs to Ubilio, who is known as Uber. His brother is Ubaldo. Steve attended several families. Their needs were not quake-related but people talked of losses, such as […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: