Zaragoza Medical/Earthquake Help

Why we have created this page:

For the last two months, Memo (Guillermo) has been working to help his family support and care for his only sister, Cristina, as she fights for her life battling pneumonia and whole host of complications.  

Tuesday, Sept. 19, a second blow struck the family.   The 7.1 magnitude  earthquake that hit Mexico was centered just miles away their hometown.  The roof of Memo's mother's house collapsed, taking with it several walls and destroying the house, furniture, and it's 50-year function as the family homestead.  The hospital where Cristina was recovering in Puebla, two hours away, suffered significant damage.  All patients were relocated to  various clinics and hospitals in the surrounding area, and the family now has the responsibility of providing services that the new clinic cannot provide.

Our friends and coworkers have asked how they can help the people of Mexico and, specifically, members of Memo's family and community in Izucar de Matamoros.  There are a number of organizations that are working to help people in Mexico, including Cruz Roja Mexico, Catholic Charities, and unicef and we encourage donations to all of those reputable and invaluable organizations (  But to provide direct support to Memo's mother, his sister, and local family members who are trying to keep their own families afloat while dealing with these additional challenges, we are creating this page. 

Before the earthquake, Memo was already sending money to Mexico to help his mother buy groceries and pay for electriciy, to help the family get to the hospital in Puebla to see Cristina (a two-hour bus ride), and to cover a fraction of medical expenses not covered by the state.  Now, we are looking at how to relocate his mother who has physical limitations and cannot stay with his brother indefinitely in a second floor walk-up.  This will take some time and may involve retrofitting a family member's house for her disability or finding her an apartment close to one of them.  We want to help her replace clothes, furniture, and household items that were lost when the walls came down.  We need to get her a cell phone since she no longer has a home for her landline.  And the family wants to raise money for an ambulance ride, medical equipment, and oxygen so that they can bring their sister back home so that she can complete her recovery in I.d.M. with family and not two hours away in an understaffed clinic. 

Any funds raised that are not used for the support of Sixta Veronica Rios or Cristina Zaragoza Veronica will be used to help other people in the community. For example, Memo's brother Armando has been providing free juices, sandwiches, and photocopies outside local medical clinics since many basic services are otherwise closed. We will share all our efforts as they occur.  Unfortunately, it is very early in the process of "getting back to normal," and what "normal" looks like in a week or a month is not clear. 

We feel deep gratitude that so many people have asked how they can help, and we appreciate the help that is provided here or to other efforts in Mexico.

Specifically from Guillermo:

Mi familia ha sido terriblemente afectada en los ultimos meses y la situacion no puede ser peor de los que esta.
Mi unica hermana, Cristina, quien padece de ataques epilpticos no muy frecuentes pero si devastadores sufrio uno terrible el pasado 11 de Julio y casi la mata por lo tanto tuvo que ser hospitalizada y puesta en un coma inducido para despues descubrir que se le desarrollo una neumonia atipica el cual complico demasiado su situacion a tal grado que estuvo en como por cinco semanas y los doctores nos comunicaron que ya no podian hacer nada por Ella y esperan el descenlace final. Para fortuna de nosotros mi hermana fue respondiendo satisfactoriamente a los medicamentos y lentamente fue recuperandose.

Pero venia algo mas fuerte que nadie esperaba y que afectaria a demaciadas personas en la region, un Terremoto de 7.1 grados que devasto la region y empeoro la situacion no solo de mi Hermana y mi Madre sino de muchas personas .  Ahora estamos muy atentos y en constante comunicacion con la familia para ver de que manera podemos ayudar rapida y directamente desde aqui. Se necesitas productos basicos con los que debe contar una clinica y que carecen, por su parte mi hermano Armando esta ayudando a los centros clinicos regalando fotocopias, jugos naturales, sandwiches, botellas llenas con agua todo esto gratis.

Algo que deseo  reembolsarle  o ayudarle economicamente a El para que continuen ayudando a la cominudad de afectados de una manera directa.

Mi Hermana fue relocalizada a una clinica afilidada al IMSS en la ciudqd de Choloula y necesitamos comprarle un cilindro de oxigeno con su respirador para poder llevarla a un domicilio particular con la familia y alli continue con su recuperacion y necesita tamibien readiografias para practicarle una operacion del torax.  A mi Madre, la casa donde muchos de mis hermanos crecimos, esta totalmente destruida con la perdida total de sus muebles, utencilios de cocina asi como ropa de vestir. Aqui necesitmos ayudarla a reestalecer su vida normal paulatinamente con lo necesario para que rente una casa cerca de los familiares y pueda tener donde cocinar y dormir sin ningun temor a que se le destruya todo de nuevo. Ademas de proporcionarle los servicios de un celular para poder comunicarnos con Ella sin nungun problema.

En nombre de mi hermana Cristina y mi Madre Sixta Veronica les damos las mas coordial y sinceras GRACIAS por su generosidad y aportacion economica. El efectivo recaudado sera exclisuvamente para cubrir esta emergencia y ayudar a traves de mi hermano, Armando, a los ciudadanos que tienen pacientes afectados y necesitan estar con ellos en las clinicas donde fueron trasladados.


Some photos:
Guillermo's mother salvaging items from her house.

The altar in the house was surrounded by damage, but the images stayed on the walls.

A storage area and bathroom.

The community came together to help Sixta Veronica Rios salvage furniture and household items prior to demolition.

This is the second bed in the small casita and the room we expected to pass Christams in this year.

A city inspector going into the house to confirm status and put it on the growing list for city demolition.

Guillermo's brother, Armando, providing free copies (COPIAS GRATIS) outside a local medical clinic.

We will continue to provide updates on separate pages as the situation stabilizes.  Please check back in if you are interested.

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Guillermo Zaragoza Veronica 
Winston-Salem, NC
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