Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights 2020

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Cucapa Indians Devasted by Quake in Mexico

By Miriam Raftery
Photo by Joel Garcia/Indybay
April 9, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – A relief effort is being mounted here to bring emergency aid to the Cucapa Indian nation, just ten miles from the epicenter of the 7.2 earthquake that devastated their homeland between Mexicali and San Felipe.
March through May is the fishing season for these indigenous people, who rely on fishing to sustain them throughout the year. But the Easter earthquake severely damaged roads that the Cucapa use to fish on the Colorado Delta, forcing them to end their season early, East County Magazine has learned. Tribal members have lost their livelihoods as well as their homes, roads, electricity and water.
“The lives of the Cucapa Nation have been shattered with the loss of their homes, roads, electricity and awter,” said Maggie Rivera, vice president of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). “The economic state of Mexicali mirrors that of Haiti to where local economy relies on tourism. This devastating crisis is something many leaders believe reflects the desperate need of financial hardship in this region of the world.”
The Mexican community in Illinois has joined with the Center for Social Advocacy in El Cajon, California to bring immediate emergency relief to the Cucapa people. Estela de los Rios, executive director of the Center, called it a tragedy that governments in Mexico and the U.S. have failed to respond to the needs of the Cucapa. “Once again the oppression of the indigenous people of the land has been magnified by the lack of concern and response. Please help us support their needs.”
Donated items will be taken to Mexico on April 20th with the assistance of volunteers in San Diego.
San Diego County residents are asked to bring donations of nonperishable foods including canned fruits and vegetables, tuna, sups, beans, rice, bean and pastas as well as water, cooking oils, baby formula, toiletries, tents, flashlights, diapers, lighters, anti-bacterial cleaners, band aids, anti-diarrheal medications, Tylenol (children’s and adult), new blankets, soap and shampoo, and toilet paper.
Donations may be dropped off before April 20th at the Center for Social Advocacy, 277 East Lexington, Suite A, in El Cajon 92020 Mondays through Fridays between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Illinois also has several locations for residents to drop off donated goods in Chicago, Champaign, Waukegan, and Carpentersville. Contact Maggie Rivera of LULAC at (815)814-6669 for details.

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