Delivering foods and personal protective equipment to 500 households in La Mana and Pujili

The heaviest rain in 20 years hit Ecuador at the end of January, causing landslides and flooding in many places, including the capital city Quito. In La Mana located in Cotopaxi Province, the highway that connects nearby cities and eight bridges collapsed, leaving one-third of its residents in isolation. Houses were damaged and arable land were lost. In particular, in the rural village of Pucayacu, the Quindigua River passing through the village overflowed and damaged hundreds of homes. El Palmar in Pujili, Cotopaxi, too was flooded by the Pilalo River, leaving many flood victims.

On February 2, a member of National Assembly, Ana Cecilia Herrera Gomez, requested the Intl. WeLoveU Foundation (hereinafter referred to as “WeLoveU”) for help through her letter. Courteously asking the WeLoveU to help Cotopaxi Province, which was in trouble, she delivered the damage situation reported by the State Emergency Response Committee [COE: Comite´ de Operaciones de Emergencia] and the list of necessary items. Afterwards, the WeLoveU Quito Chapter visited the La Mana City Hall to confirm the specific situation of the damage. Mayor Hipolito Ivan Carrera Benites gave thanks to them and also appealed to the WeLoveU for help in supporting the flood victims.

Upon receiving the report from the Quito Chapter in Ecuador, the Headquarters of the WeLoveU in Korea decided to help the flood victims in Cotopaxi Province and discussed how to do it. On March 24, WeLoveU Honorary Chairwoman Zahng Gil-jah met Ecuadorian Ambassador H.E. Adrian Kao at the WeLoveU Headquarters. Honorary Chairwoman Zahng Gil-jah said, “I was heartbroken to hear that there was flood damage on top of COVID-19. The WeLoveU members decided to help Ecuador with one mind.” She promised to provide $20,000 worth of relief goods to 500 flood victim households. Ambassador Kao expressed his gratitude to Chairwoman for the support, and also for having provided face masks and test kits to his country during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On April 18, the delivery ceremony was held at Cubierta Square in La Mana. Ecuadorian members personally delivered relief goods packed with food such as rice, beans, canned tuna, noodles, and sugar, as well as face masks and sanitary supplies to 400 households in Pucayacu. Meanwhile, about 100 families in Pujili and El Palmar were donated with supplies through the Ecuadorian National Assembly.

Mariela Tigaci, who suffered from the flood, said, “It was a terrible disaster. The river flooded. We all had to leave Pucayacu and find a place to stay. I was so scared. I’m very grateful to the WeLoveU for helping me in time of hardship.” Another resident said with joy, “The bridge between the villages was cut off and there was no electricity. We couldn’t communicate with all our family members and friends. I believe whoever helps us will be blessed.”

Assemblyperson Gomez said on her social media, “I would like to give thanks to Honorary Chairwoman Zahng Gil-jah and the WeLoveU for giving valuable help to the flood victims in Pucayacu and El Palmar. Five hundred households received essential relief goods.”

The WeLoveU has been helping Ecuadorian people, starting with the donation of daily necessities to the earthquake victims in 2016. They also provided educational supplies to elementary schools in 2017. Moreover, the WeLoveU signed a Letter of Intent [LOI] with the Ecuadorian Embassy in Korea to donate COVID-19 diagnostic kits and face masks in 2020. In 2021, the WeLoveU provided COVID-19 test kits to the employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who attended the inauguration ceremony of the President of Ecuador.