Un Mensaje de Chile

by on March 6, 2011

in Other

A quick "vintage" conversion processed on the new site MakeRetro.com.

You may have noticed that posting has been a little light over the past few days here on Photography Bay.  Internet access has been a bit spotty over the past few days as I have traveled to and through Chile.  I have volunteered to document a scouting trip for Global Infusion, which currently has no presence here in Chile.  Aside from a day-trip into Ontario, this is my first time outside of the US.

What I’ve seen thus far is a beautiful country, along with beautiful people and culture.  However, there are still many difficulties for the people here.

Chile was hit by an 8.8 Magnitude earthquake in February 2010. A few hundred people died in the quake and hundreds of thousands of buildings were damaged or destroyed. Damage estimates are $15 billion to $30 billion.

Chile continues to have regular earthquakes.  In fact, a 6.2 Magnitude quake hit earlier today in the northern region of Chile; however, there does not appear to be any significant damage caused by today’s quake.  It is common to feel tremors on any given day, which is a scary proposition for those in and around the already damaged structures.

One of the very sad situations resulting from last year’s major quake is the number of people displaced from their homes.  Our first stop was in Rancagua, where blocks of residential buildings were either demolished or severely damaged to make them uninhabitable.  Still yet, there are many families residing in the crumbling buildings because they have nowhere else to go.

There is a stirring among the people for government assistance, which they have apparently been promised, but not yet received for over a year now. I am still learning about the nuances of this problem; however, it is a very real concern for those who are in great danger in the event of another earthquake.

Many of those who have found other housing have been left to reside in small temporary shelters consisting of particle board covered with plastic.  In some cases, there are multiple families living in a temporary house the size of my living room.  It is a very sad sight.

For any of my new Chilean friends reading this, gracias por su hospitalidad y paciencia con mi muy deficiente español.

We still have many things to see, and more photos and video to capture.  I am looking forward to getting home and properly editing the media.  Expect to see more photos and video from Chile in future reviews of the Canon 60D and Canon S95 (among others), which have accompanied me on this trip – both of which are serving me quite well.

For those of you planning a trip and want to buy the perfect tripod to carry on a plane, I highly recommend the Benro Travel Flat series.  These are amazingly compact and lightweight – so easy to carry anywhere.

Finally, I have a review of the Nikon D7000 (as a preview, it’s awesome) and Nikon P7000 set for later this week.  We should be back to regular programming next week.

If you want to help with any future aid trips to Chile or elsewhere in the world, you can find more information on Global Infusion’s website.

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{ 8 comments }

1 mister le March 7, 2011 at 2:18 am

Enjoy your trip take lot of pictures and be safe.

2 Paul Babelay March 8, 2011 at 1:20 am

That’s great, Eric. Glad you’re there. Is a great reminder how over-the-top blessed we are in the US. Be safe.

3 forkboy1965 March 9, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Wishing you the best and safest on your travels Eric.

4 Eric Reagan March 9, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Thanks for the good wishes guys. I’m enjoying my time here. It has been a very worthwhile trip thus far.

5 Osvaldo March 12, 2011 at 1:02 am

This topic is not complete , you are missing a lot of things that are allready done , much more than undo , I am Chilean and live in Chile , it is a pity to read this kind of news from people of other countries that are not well inform ,

6 Eric Reagan March 12, 2011 at 10:27 pm

Hey Osvaldo. I certainly mean no offense; however, I was not in Chile immediately after last year’s quake, so I don’t have a lot to compare it to. Although, I did meet many people that are still in need of help. As a result of the quake and tsunami in Talcahuano, there are hundreds of people still living in temporary housing with no running water or insulation – and who will be there for at least 2 more winters. Of course, we did not tour the places with an eye toward what has been repaired, but rather with an eye toward where help is needed. I hope you understand my perspective and that I meant no disrespect toward your country.

7 Osvaldo March 13, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Hi Eric, thank you very much for your answer, no doubt that our people still need lots of help, we must take into consideration the size of the disaster, what I meant is that all is not what it looks bad, there is much time and money invested going to help the needy, but in a poor country like ours, I believe this government has worked wonderfully well.
But now that you explain it that way, I quite understand your point of view.

8 Brian Robertson March 12, 2011 at 9:28 am

I live in Bolivia as a Brit with permanent residency so I know where you are at!!! There some terrific photo ops in this part of the world. These range from delicate human interest issues to incredible vistas up on the Andes.

Take care and good photo hunting.

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