Two days ago a major earthquake struck Chile, leaving the country in a state of disaster. Hundreds have been killed and many survivors have lost their homes, livelihoods and possessions.
Since the announcement of this tragic news, we have been attempting to make contact and gather any information possible about the many friends, members and communities in Chile who are part of our Slow Food network. However, we have faced a number of difficulties, mainly due to failures in internet and phone networks.
We have managed to contact Juan Torres, a member of the Union of the Juan Fernández Archipelago Artisan Fishermen, and representative of Slow Food’s Robinson Crusoe Island Seafood Presidium. Juan was not on the island when the earthquake hit and he himself has received very little news concerning his relatives and fishermen. He has confirmed, however, that all the buildings along the coast have been destroyed, including the town hall, the union headquarters and a restaurant the fishermen were in the process of constructing. We have not yet received news from the members of the Blue Egg Chicken, Merkén or Purén White Strawberries presidia, which are located in the La Araucania and Bio Bio regions near the epicenter of the quake.
We will continue in the coming days to seek information about all our Chilean friends in the Slow Food network. Our association would like to express our solidarity with the people affected by this disaster and with those who are bringing much needed help. Once we have contacted all our local representatives, we will determine how to work with them along the path of reconstruction.