Emergency – November 16 2017

Mexico earthquake: Two months on

Two months after a powerful 7.1 magnitude earthquake in south-east Mexico, SOS Children’s Villages is considering establishing a Child Friendly Space to provide support for children still affected by the devastation.

None of the more than 40 children at SOS Children’s Village Tehuacán were hurt during the 19 September earthquake and there was no major damage to the village. Families in the surrounding community programmes were also reported unharmed.

SOS Children’s Villages Child Friendly Spaces offer a safe environment for children in emergency situations. They provide a place where children can enjoy physical and educational activities and, in many cases, social workers and psychologists are on hand to support children and their parents who have experienced trauma.

The family strengthening programme has ten centres for children and a social centre, where 350 children and 370 parents participate. No significant damage was reported to these structures.

However, support is still needed for many families in Puebla state, where Tehuacán is located.

“The earthquake left a mark on the communities, and it has been very difficult to forget,” said Dirk Glas, Interim National Director of SOS Children’s Villages Mexico. “Children have been the most affected, since many of the places where they felt safest – including schools in some communities – have collapsed.”

“SOS Children’s Villages Mexico is looking for support to finance the creation of a Child Friendly Space. This space will give children the opportunity to express their feelings so that little by little they can heal the wounds left by this disaster,” Mr Glas said.

In the aftermath of the earthquake, SOS Children's Villages Mexico began an emergency response programme to address the immediate needs of the communities. The organisation provided 175 blankets, 400 boxes of medicines, 500 baby items, construction material and 1,500 personal hygiene items for the affected communities.

In addition, the family strengthening programme delivered supplies to families in Tianguimanalco and other Puebla state communities that were also affected.