The 7.8 earthquake that occurred on Saturday, April 16, 2016 was centered on the coast in the province of Manabi, 200 km from Quito in Ecuador. This earthquake is the most devastating in decades and has contributed to a death toll of over 600. Since the earthquake, many aftershocks, upwards of 6.2 magnitude have also been felt. This natural disaster will impact the country and its people for years to come. We are relieved to report that are in-country field staff and partners are safe.
Global Citizen Year operates namely out of the central hub city of Quito, and also out of Cuenca, to the south. More specifically, Global Citizen Year operates in the provinces of Napo, Imbabura, Canar, and Azuay. We do not operate in the coastal area of Manabi, the epicenter of the recent earthquake. Please refer to this link for geography. Even though we do not have programming in Manabi, the entire country of Ecuador, as in many other countries, is susceptible to unpredictable acts of nature, such as earthquakes, flooding, and volcanic eruptions.
Global Citizen Year considers the health and safety of its participants, staff, and partners a top priority. Our risk management system, including communication protocols and emergency response are in place to respond to a variety of emergencies concerning health and safety, including natural disasters. Regarding this earthquake and other possible incidents, we will monitor the situation and will make decisions regarding programming based on assessment and our ability to appropriately manage the risks. We will collaborate and work in conjunction with our Field staff, partners, in-country insurance provider and experts in the field.
At this time, the devastating events on the west coast of Ecuador will not alter Global Citizen Year’s upcoming programming. We will update information, as necessary.
The magnificence of Ecuador and its people has had a tremendous impact on our alumni, staff and organization and we are deeply affected by the tremendous loss inflicted by this devastating earthquake.
For those who are looking for ways to help, we would encourage you to consider donating directly to the relief and redevelopment efforts of the Ecuador Red Cross or the Generosity Campaign by Global Shapers, a local Ecuadorian group.