Mexico Earthquake Relief

As many of you know, on September 19th, Mexico City, Puebla, Morelos and surrounding areas were hit by a 7.1 earthquake that has caused over 45 buildings to collapse and has left hundreds uninhabitable. Rescue efforts continue in these areas and the extent of the damage and loss of life remains unknown. This massive earthquake came only 10 days after an earthquake of magnitude 8.1 devastated many areas of Oaxaca, Tabasco and Chiapas on September 9th, and thousands of people were injured, hundreds died, and many more lost their homes.

Many of you have asked how you can help. You can directly donate to aid organizations, here is a good list of places to donate: Most of these funds are for current disaster relief efforts across Mexico City and surrounding areas. However, we are worried that most of the money collected at this time will not be destined to fund longer-term reconstruction efforts in poor communities that suffered horrible losses.

Thus, we have set up this fundraising effort to collect money from our direct network of family, friends and colleagues abroad and donate it to local organizations where we know aid will get to those most in need.  See details below for the organizations we have chosen.

In addition to our own donations we have set a very ambitious goal of raising $13,000 towards these efforts. Please donate as much as you can, knowing that your dollars, euros and pounds will go a long way. Any amount that you can donate is very welcome, for example $15 can buy up to 30 cans of Tuna.

We will leave this fund raising effort open throughout October with the hopes of raising as much money as possible. Please feel free and encouraged to share this among your networks. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your solidarity and generosity.

   Rebeca de Buen  Kalman                  María Vignau Loría

Maria Vignau and Rebeca de Buen are originally from Mexico City, and are currently PhD students at the University of Washington in Seattle.  Maria Studies sociology and Rebeca studies public policy.

The organizations we will donate to:

After a bit of research, we decided to donate to the following organizations/initiatives. We decided on these organization because they have all an impressive track record with building and improving homes in marginalized communities and have set up projects that specifically focus on areas we are interested in. We also decided on these organizations because they were responsive to communication with us.

Isla Urbana

 47 % of the money collected during this campaign will be donated to Isla Urbana, through their earthquake relief fund.

> Organization:

> Fund:

Isla Urbana is a Mexican project dedicated to contributing to water sustainability in Mexico through rainwater harvesting. They have won multiple awards and are internationally recognized for their work.

Isla Urbana has designed an environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable rainwater harvesting system that collects and cleans rainwater for households, schools and health clinics.  The system is inexpensive, easy to install and provides individual residences with about 40% of their water supply.  Implemented on a large scale throughout Mexico City, this simple technology could provide 30% of the city’s water and could help give a sustainable source of water to the 12 million Mexicans with no access to clean water. 

As a response to recent earthquake events in Mexico, Isla Urbana has developed the RAINWATER BRIGADE, an emergency water relief fund designed to bring water to affected areas through the installation of rainwater harvesting systems and water purification technology for contaminated water.

You can follow the work done through this campaign on social media by searching for the hashtag #BrigadaLluvia

Cooperacion Comunitaria

43% of the funds raised will go to Cooperacion comunitaria

 > Organization: , > Fund:

Cooperación Comunitaria is a Mexican organization whose mission is to improve the habitability conditions of indigenous, rural communities in Mexico by facilitating a sustainable self-management of the social, economic and environmental factors for rural development. They employ holistic approaches that recover traditional knowledge and improve the relationship between society and nature, promoting resilience and self-sufficiency.

Following the earthquake they have set up a fund to help rebuild homes in three municipalities of Oaxaca, one of the hardest-hit states after the earthquake where they plan to work with communities to evaluate structural damages and help rebuild homes. They will start by helping families rebuild their kitchens so that they have a refuge during the night and a production place during the day throughout the reconstruction process.

ADECO, Accciones para el Desarrollo Comunitario A.C.

> Webpage:

ADECO is a non-profit organization that focuses on strengthening the collective organization and participation of people in community development projects through education processes and the development of peoples’ own capabilities and tools, so they can face autonomously and integrally the problems that they face.

Following the earthquake, they have outlined the following actions in the state of Morelos:
-       “After the earthquake” community workshops that aim to build and support initiatives and processes of community reconstruction.
-       Strengthen community networks for the prevention and response to disasters.
-       Support to projects, institutions or collectives, identified through their own networks, that will work on communities affected by the earthquake.

How we will make the donations 

As originally stated, we wanted to keep this campaign going until the end of October. We plan to withdraw these funds by the second week in November (assuming everything goes smoothly with the fundraising platform)  and directly deposit to the funds cited above. For practical purposes, the funds will be channeled through Rebeca de Buen's personal bank account.  Once this has been done, we will post proof of our spending to our facebook page as well as an update to this campaign
  • Anonymous 
    • $186 
    • 48 mos
  • Eduardo Sierra 
    • $40 
    • 49 mos
  • Rebecca Villarreal 
    • $100 
    • 49 mos
  • Chris Hess 
    • $25 
    • 49 mos
  • Victoria Sass 
    • $100 
    • 49 mos
See all


Rebeca de Buen 
Seattle, WA
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