Thursday, March 18, 2010

Exhausting Adventures in Chile Tsunami Zone

After 14 days of tsunami relief aid for coastal tsunami and earthquake victims in Chile, I'm writing this while on my way back home to California. What an intense, inspiring and difficult time! My heart is broken from seeing my favorite places completely demolished by the double-knockout punch of an 8.8 earthquake with a direct tsunami hit. My friends and colleagues lost everything. But we're there with solid relief and support and it's lit a fire under my arse to help like never before!

With an awesome team of doctors and fearless coastal warriors we distributed a ton of aid and support for the victims of this epic disaster. We directly reached over 500 people with our diverse medical aid, and distributed enough water filters for 10,000 people to drink clean local water. There is so much work left to do - it will take years of hard work to lift the region back up. The tsunami-quake combo punch severely hit hundreds of miles of coastline.

Strangely and unexpectedly, Hollywood heart throb Paul "Caminante" Walker showed up to help with his team of first-response disaster medics. The media ate it up and this helped us garner media and public support for our hard work in the field. Paul's team kicked ass, helped a lot of people, and Paul proved his chops beyond Hollywood by getting down and dirty in the grittiest tsunami wastelands of Constitucion City. Below is a photo of us with a couple of locals in a refugee camp where we gave much-needed medical attention and water filters for clean, healthy water. Done!

We'll be back in Chile ASAP with a lot more aid and a big shot of inspiration and hope for the tough locals to pick themselves up. ¡Grande, Chile!

Below photos: free medical attention in the hardest hit neighborhoods of Constitucion City, and a group photo of our Chile disaster relief team.