• Following one of the strongest earthquakes in the world on 27 February 2010, I travelled to Chile on 29 April to work as a volunteer to help, in some way, one of the most special populations in the world and a wonderful country get back to their feet. I spent a month working with Un Techo para Chile (A roof for Chile), a local charity very close to my heart as I spent time working for them 10 years ago in my gap year. Their work post the earthquake focused on building emergency housing in the devastated areas in the country. I was posted in the 6th Region (O’Higgins) and worked out of the Santa Cruz office.

    Thank you very much to all those who very kindly donated to this project, all the money raised was used to buy materials to keep families warm and subsequently given directly those in great need. For more information please read the post titled: Your Donations.

    Please have a read of others the posts in this blog to discover the amazing experiences I had.

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My Un Techo para Chile Team

One of the main reasons why I wanted to work again with Un Techo para Chile 10 years later, was because of the people I met and this trip back was definitely no disappointment. My close team in Santa Cruz was full of very special people, people who put their lives on hold, people who … Continue reading

The last house in the Sixth Region

When the earthquake struck, Un Techo para Chile set up a project to bring emergency housing to those affected and they estimated the number of mediaguas needed to be at 20,000. Their key priority was to get these built before the rain and the cold came, so a deadline of 31st May was set. Region … Continue reading

Your Donations

When I was in England before I left, helping Chile seemed such a daunting task and what I was going to do seemed to be such a small drop in the ocean. However, gradually as I spent more time visiting families, helping volunteers and seeing the damage first hand, I now realise that the problem … Continue reading

The Building Volunteers

Most of the construction of the mediaguas takes place during the weekends by volunteers that are usually students from all sorts of universities across Chile. It’s the actual universities or at least a few key members of them, who organise the recruit and deployment of volunteers to the different areas that Un Techo para Chile … Continue reading

A Gourmet Tour of Chile

One Saturday lunchtime my team from Un Techo para Chile were asked to help out at local fund-raising event for the ‘Corporacion Patrimonio de Colchagua’ (Colchagua Heritage Corporation). The Colchagua Valley is the area where I was based, it is full of pretty villages, beautiful old buildings and vineyards. The lunch was held in the … Continue reading

Glimpses of Chile

Santa Cruz is in the heart of the Colchagua valley, the homeland of some of the best vineyards in Chile and so the landscape and views are amazing. Luckily (for me anyway) the construction of the houses were relatively widespread and so I had the chance to visit a lot of villages around and see … Continue reading

Should you have a house?

One of the hardest job I have had to do here, is to evaluate who should receive a temporary house. The local council give us a list of the people in their borough that have requested a mediagua or that they believe is in need of one. We then visit each and every person on … Continue reading

A day in my life…at the moment.

There are five regions that were affected by the earthquake: Valparaiso, Metropolitana, O’Higgins, Maule, Biobio and La Araucania. Within these regions Un Techo para Chile has set up emergency offices to roll out the distribution of temporary/transitional housing and within these regions,there are usually sub-region offices. I am working in a town called Santa Cruz, … Continue reading

My First House

There are so many things I want share about the last week, things that I have been told, things that I have experienced and most significantly things that I have seen. There has been so much to take in and I have certainly been thrown into the midst of it all, but I’m going to … Continue reading

Amazing Earthquake Photos

Here are two photos from the night of the earthquake (yes it is night time – check out the stars!). These photos were taken by the Parque Andino Juncal park rangers who were up there at the time the earth shook. Thanks for the photos. Posted by Tamara Holland-Martin 2010