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November 05, 2007

Why aren't more people asking us to donate money for Tabasco Flood Relief?

This is cross-posted from our sister site, Silicon Valley Moms Blog.  We felt that it was important to get the word out through all of our blogs.  Please help us spread the word.

'This is not just the worst natural catastrophe in the state's history but, I would venture to say, one of the worst in the recent history of the country,' Mexican President Felipe Calderon, talking about the flood in Tabasco, Mexico.

BBC News: More than one million people are believed to be affected, with 300,000 thought to be trapped in their homes and more rain forecast in coming days.

Mexico_3Hi there, people of the silicon valley and web!  Today, I have a question for you.  Do you have a housekeeper, a gardener, a babysitter or nanny, or another house worker who is from Mexico?  Have you ever been waited on, had your food cooked by, or your table bussed by someone from Mexico?  If you're a mom, have you had some of the Mexican people, with their lovely, child-supportive culture, give you kind looks and a helping hand when your WASPy neighbors were ignoring you?  Have you or your children derived benefit from the added dimension that our overlay of Mexican culture in California gives you - in any way?

OK, now tell me this.  Have you reached into your pockets and sent money to the people of Tabasco, currently reeling from one of the biggest catastrophes to happen to Mexico in years?

Me either.

Why is this?

Today on the radio, I heard a statement that  went straight to my heart.  "Please ask the people of the world to turn their eyes onto Tabasco," the man said.  It made me think.  I haven't heard any news of local moms holding bake sales to benefit the people of Tabasco, Mexico, and I haven't seen any mails sent out in my email groups about how to help.  Nobody has made it easy for me to just Paypal dollars, you know?

So I did some research.  Over on Yahoo Answers someone else asked this question and amazingly, received no direct responses (other than "give to the Red Cross" and "call the mexican consulate.")  Instead, the questioner was bombarded with cynical responses like "give it to your neighbors, it will do as much good," and "send it to me."

I'm not quite understanding this.  Out of all of the nationalities that I know and spend time with in my life, I spend the most time with Mexican nationals.  Although I don't personally ask everyone where they come from, I'll bet I know people from Tabasco.  But nobody's standing outside of Trader Joe's asking that we donate money to send to the Mexican people.  Nobody's sending out emails saying that they are from Mexico and they are organizing on behalf of the Mexicans devastated by the storm.

I called the Mexican consulate.  OK, I'm beginning to see the problem here.  The lady at the Mexican consulate was very nice, but her English wasn't great.  She told me the account number for the Mexican Red Cross:  0121 8000 401 0101159.  Yeah. Right.  I don't send money to generic account numbers.

So I kept looking.  I typed all sorts of things into Google, and finally I started typing "Mexican bloggers."  A few minutes later and -- bingo!  Bloggers do it again.  My sincere thank you to the Root Coffee blog, for their wonderful overview of the situation and their links (which I have reprinted here.)

Unfortunately, this flood has illustrated how few of our fellow bloggers, co-workers, and neighbors are from Mexico.  Instead, it's the workers, who don't happen to have time or ability to write blogs for free; the people who are first-generation here and who are working (often several jobs) to pay their rents and raise their kids.  It seems that nobody from Mexico has ready access to a soapbox.

Can you help?  Pass it on.

1. The State of Tabasco Official Site has many links to donation sites and account numbers for monetary donations: http://www.tabasco.gob.mx/

2. American Red Cross International Response Fund, Make a secure online donation to the Tabasco Flood relief fund here: http://american.redcross.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ntld_mexico_1107&s_subsrc=RCO_ProfilePage_Link&s_src=F7ZWGR00.

3. UNICEF USA has opened an account for Tabasco's displaced children, UNICEF's donation page is here: http://www.unicefusa.org/site/c.duLRI8O0H/b.25933/k.8DDD/US_Fund_for_UNICEF__US_Fund_for_UNICEF.htm
4. The Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles has posted their Bank Account for donations at http://www.sre.gob.mx/losangeles/En Estados Unidos la cancillería abrió las cuentas: en el Wells Fargo Bank NA, con el número 599253401; 'Ayuda Tabasco 2007' y BBVA BANCOMER depositando en la cuenta número: 2280300127 "AYUDA A TABASCO 2007"y ABA 1-2222-05-06 para depósitos fuera de California.

5. Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has $1 million pledged to help its partners Caritas Mexicana and Caritas Tabasco provide food, water, blankets and other basic emergency supplies to thousands of affected families.CARITAS Mexico are taking donations here: https://secure2.convio.net/crs/site/Donation?ACTION=SHOW_DONATION_OPTIONS&CAMPAIGN_ID=2363

6. Save the Children Moves to Assist Families in Flooded Mexico, they are taking donations here:  http://www.savethechildren.org/newsroom/2007/flooding-in-mexico.html?WT.mc_id=x_gg_emerflooding_txt_7&WT.srch=1

6. We are also collecting donations and distributing them to two community shelters that the Muñoz and Caldera and other block families are organizing in one of the last dry areas at Calle Antonio Suarez Hernandez, Colonia Reforma, C.P. 86080, Villahermosa, Tabasco. You can send donations via Paypal to Root Coffee Here. https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_xclick&business=rootcoffee%40gmail%2ecom&item_name=Root%20Coffee%20%2d%20Tabasco%20Flood%20Donations&no_shipping=0&no_note=1&tax=0&currency_code=USD&lc=US&bn=PP%2dDonationsBF&charset=UTF%2d8

In Pictures - Flickr Tabasco Disaster Group:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/tabascodisaster/pool/

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