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Project Amigo Earthquake Report - January 24,2003
Staff - Casa Damage - Schools - City - Other Damage - Refiefe Fund - Thank You


On Tuesday, January 21, at 8:06 pm, a major earthquake struck the state of Colima. The quake was centered off the coast near the beach town of
Cuyutlan, just south of Manzanillo. The city of Colima and many rural
villages suffered major damage.


First of all, we want to thank the hundreds of people who sent e-mails and called with their concern and offers of help. All Project Amigo staff and volunteers are fine and all of our houses survived. Some of us lost possessions - TVs, stereos, lots of dishes, flower pots, art work, etc. - but none of us were left homeless.

The Project Amigo offices and guest facility in the village of Cofradia
sustained some damage.. Furnishings and equipment were broken, and some
walls will need to be repaired or replaced. Electricity and phone service were restored later the night of the quake, though both still fluctuate somewhat.

The children and facilities at the Queseria migrant labor camp, Colonia
Rotaria, and the group homes of Maria Angela and Nino Colimense are also alright, gracias a Dios.


Casa Amiga, our boarding house for high school girls in the city of Colima, suffered major damage and is not safe to live in. Fortunately, the house was closed at the time of the quake. We are in the process of finding interim shelter for the girls while we decide whether to repair or replace the house. Either way we expect to incur a great deal of unplanned expenses.


All schools in the state are closed until they can be inspected for safety. We have suspended all Homework Clubs until the schools re-open. We have contacted all our scholarship students at their homes which are scattered throughout the state. All are OK, but some of their family homes suffered major damage or were destroyed.

Volunteer dentist Dr. Harry Johnson and his wife Sheryl, a dental assistant, had just arrived for a two-week Project Amigo dental clinic when the quake hit. Fortunately the dental clinic was not damaged. With schools closed we cannot easily contact or screen children or transport students to the clinic. Other services to students -- such as book distributions and motivational talks - are also suspended until schools re-open.


As of this writing, Thursday afternoon, reports are that 166 homes in the city of Colima collapsed in the earthquake and many, perhaps thousands, more will have to be torn down due to structural damage. The hardest hit area was the central historic district with its old adobe buildings, and the middle-class residential district north of the Centro where Casa Amiga is located. The death toll is about 28 and rising. Clean-up and rescue operations are continuing.

Local Rotarians are assembling emergency food packages for folks who have lost homes and kitchens. The Colima Rotary club building has extensive damage, and the home of the Colima Rotary Club president, Efra and his wife Adela, is one that will need to be torn down.


Some remote rural villages, such as Zacualpan, were also hard hit by the quake, and reports are still filtering in from villages cut off when phone and electrical lines went down. Manzanillo and Tecoman came through OK.


Project Amigo has set up an Earthquake Relief Fund, and donations can be made by mail to: 708 Gravenstein Hwy N #183, Sebastopol, CA 95472, or by credit-card, on-line through our website, Be sure to mark your donation for "Earthquake Relief." The donations will be used to replace equipment and furnishings lost by Project Amigo, repair or replacement of Casa Amiga, and to help needy families, particularly the families of our scholarship students.


Thank you again for all your concern, prayers, and offer of help. It is
really gratifying to us working here in Mexico to know that so many people care for us and for the work we are doing.

Photos of quake damage are available on our website at
Click on "What's New at Project Amigo."

Project Amigo volunteers and staff

Note new mailing address: 708 Gravenstein Hwy N #183, Sebastopol, CA 95472

Upcoming Events & Meetings:

Tuesday, January 28, 2003: The Rotary Clubs of Mill Valley and Marin Evening presents the Rotary Peace & Conflict Resolution Management scholars, 6:30 - 8:00 pm at the Club Restaurant at McInnis Park Golf Club.

February 1, 2003: Rotary Club of Terra Linda - "Crab Feed/Auction at the Nativity of Christ Greek Orthodox Church in Ignacio; Doors open at 5:30 pm. Donations are $35 per person.

February 4, 2003: Regular Meeting; Speaker: C. Claxon, Attorney-PGE

February 8, 2003: Novato Rotary Club - "Polenta Feed"

February 11, 2003: Regular Meeting; Speaker: Ibrahim Nana on "Islamic Culture"

February 22, 2003: Our Annual Chinese New Year Banquet and Auction will be held at Yet Wah Restaurant in San Rafael to celeberate "The Year of the Sheep". Please call Winston Wood at (415) 883-5912 for informatin about this event.

March 14, 2003: Regular Meeting; Speaker - Robert Hunter; Topic: Bridge the Gap Tutoring Program

May 1, 2003, Noon - 5 p.m.: District Conference held at the South San Francisco Conference Center

May 2 - 5, 2003: Cruise to Ensenada, Mexico, culminating in the delivery of several wheelchairs.

June 1-4, 2003: Rotary Internatinal Conference, Brisbane, Australia.
Contact Us The Rotary Club of Marin Evening is dedicated to the concept of "Service Above Self".