UPDATE: Fires in Chile
It has been a tragic month in Chile after over two weeks of fires have rapidly burned through landscapes around and south of Santiago. The death toll has reached 11 people, over 1,600 homes have been destroyed, and more than 500,000 hectares of vineyards and forests have been affected. After the tireless work of 20,000 firefighters and the assistance of foreign aid, fires are finally being tamed and the ‘state of emergency’ was lifted on February 5th (The Squeeze Magazine).
We have been continuously checking in with our Chilean producers on their safety and well-being. It was shocking to receive images of what was unfolding right in front of their eyes (photos below from J.Bouchon winery in Maule). Fortunately, they, their families, and their vineyards have all been able to stay safe.
3 WAYS YOU CAN HELP
The government is estimating that the fires will cost Chile around USD $333 million, so every bit helps for Chile’s road to recovery. Below are some ways to contribute to the cause:
1. Drink Chilean Wine: One of the best forms of support from US soil is through what you’re sipping in your glass. Every extra bottle purchased counts and will help bring more funds into the country.
2. Visit Chile: Tourism is one of the most important activities for Chile and will play a key role in helping strengthen the local economy. Colchagua, Maule, Itata and Bio Bio are the main wine regions affected, which all offer amazing experiences for any adventure or culinary traveler.
3. Donate: There are several crowdfunding campaigns for those affected by the fires. Here are some official charities that are also working specifically towards the cause and asking for financial donations (they also accept foreign transfers).
- Techo para Chile (a roof for Chile) is planning to build 500 houses with the money raised over the coming weeks, you can also volunteer to help with the construction by signing up online.
- Psicologos Voluntarios (Volunteer Psychologists) is an organization offering free emergency counseling services in the regions to help those affected by the fires with some psychological care and emotional support.
- The Red Cross is asking for financial donations as well as emergency supplies and blood donations for emergency aid to the regions affected by fire.
- The College of Veterinarians is accepting donations for a special campaign where they are providing emergency care for the thousands of animals that have been caught in and affected by the fires. Qualified veterinarians in Chile are also encouraged to volunteer.
- Hogar de Cristo has already achieved their fundraising goal to construct 2,000 homes and 3 schools, so now they are aiming for a community center, technology salon, and landscaped areas in Hualqui.
Thank you for your support and Viva Chile!