Concerns over donations for earthquake victims in Mexico falling in the hands of corrupt officials and organizations have caused some relief efforts to change the way they deliver assistance to the affected areas.
In South Texas, an unusual partnership among friends seeks to overcome this hurdle and take donations straight to those in need. The unlikely band of friends consists of a cop, a doctor, and a singer, all calling on Texans to donate to our neighbors to the south.
“I brag about Texans all the time over there. So I’d like for it to come true,” said Tejano artist Bobby Pulido.
The South Texas native leading the call is using his star power to galvanize the public to the cause. After all, he lived through last week’s earthquake that has claimed the lives of more than 200 people in Central Mexico.
“I knew right away that something wasn’t right because you would feel the shake really, really ugly,” Pulido recalled.
Pulido was lucky that nothing happened to him. Just a block from his apartment in Mexico City, he says that he saw buildings collapse.
The scenes of destruction and how Mexicans came together prompted Pulido’s friend, Dr. Carlos Villarreal, to get him and officials from the City of Hidalgo to begin collecting donations on their own, especially after allegations surfaced of corrupt Mexican officials confiscating donations.
“Everything is documented because there’s so much mistrust of what’s going on,” Pulido noted.
With Pulido’s contacts, and in coordination with Mexican Highway Patrol, the group says they will guarantee that victims will receive all the items donated.
That made Juan Eugenio Cantu Jr. feel reassured that his family’s effort will not be in vain.
“I’ve been seeing the news and there’s a lot of tragedies going on in the whole world and I’m just trying to help,” the 39-year-old Cantu said.
The community has begun to join in and help fill up trailers with items such as food, clothes, tools, and medication.
Hidalgo resident Raquel Terrazas was looking for an easier way to donate. She said that she was glad there was a local drop off location.
Jose Rivera, who brought cases of bottled water, believes that more people should pitch in.
“Now, it’s for them. Maybe tomorrow, it could be us,” he said.
Organizers said they are going to continue collecting donations for the next several months at all of their drop-off locations in the Rio Grande Valley as the need will be ongoing.
Items needed in areas devastated by the recent earthquakes in Mexico include:
- Toilet paper
- Tooth brushes
- Shaving razors
- Handheld lamps
- Power generators
- Medical supplies
- Non-perishable food
The following are donation drop off locations:
Dr. Carlos Villarreal
2601 West Trenton Rd., Edinburg, TX 78539
State Farm Arena
2600 N. 10th St., Hidalgo, TX 78557
Selah Hospice Care
1101 E. Dallas Ave. Unit 6, McAllen, TX 78501