The Salvation Army in Chile continues to serve people affected by the earthquake and tsunami that brought devastation over a wide area in late February. Support is concentrated in central and southern Chile at Talca, Rancagua-Doñihue, Santa Clara, Dichato and Caleta Tumbes.
Two feeding programs operate to help elderly people and vulnerable families through the cold and damp winter. As resources become available The Salvation Army is replacing clothing and other essential items that were lost in the disaster. Schemes are also in place to provide temporary housing and employment.
Women’s support groups which have commenced in some communities are providing an opportunity for people to share their concerns with each other, especially as most are dealing with the same disruptions to their lives. These groups have created new networks of support and encouragement.
Caleta Tumbes, a coastal community, was all but swept away by the tsunami that followed the earthquake. The Salvation Army has provided fishermen in the village with new boats so they can resume their work. More have been requested.
There is ongoing contact with local and government leaders.
Programs in damaged Salvation Army properties are being operated at reduced capacity. El Faro, the men’s residence in Santiago, needs to be completely redeveloped due to the severity of the earthquake damage.
Salvation Army officers, soldiers and staff involved in the disaster response have demonstrated courage, care and determination to help their fellow Chileans through this difficult time. There has been great appreciation shown by those receiving help, not just for the material needs that have been met but also for the spiritual comfort given.