Dear friends and allies,
It may seem like a distant memory at this point, but you may recall that Ecuador was hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in April of 2016. The epicenter of the earthquake was located near the town of Muisne – a community that is part of our partner organization UOPROCAE, or the Union of Producers of Cacao of Arriba Esmeraldas. One of the cities that suffered the worst infrastructure damage was Portoviejo, close to our other cacao partner organization Fortaleza del Valle. We reached out immediately to both groups and were very relieved to learn that there were no fatalities among the members and staff of the UOPROCAE or Fortaleza del Valle. However, damage to personal property and the property belonging to the farmer organizations is significant and will be slow to fully rebuild.
Equal Exchange has committed $10,000 toward their recovery effort, and the Co-operative Development Foundation is matching that donation with another $10,000. We are reaching out to you in this season of giving, to see if you or your organization might consider contributing something more to help us reach the goal of $53,350, the total estimate of damage to co-operative infrastructure that they need to get the businesses up and running properly again. This is a long road, and our farmer partners in Ecuador need all the support they can get.
- To learn more about the earthquake, click here.
- To donate, please visit: http://www.cdf.coop/ee-earthquake/
Dary Goodrich & Cristina Liberati, Equal Exchange Chocolate Team