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.
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.