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Chile: The Rebirth After the Earthquake Tragedy

Editor's Note: The following republished post was the grand prize winner in the Global Voices blogging competition held in conjunction with OCD Iberoamérica. The other finalists were featured in an earlier post.

Post written by: Isidora BarrosoThe Rebirth After the Tragedy

February 27 was an abrupt wake-up call for Chile in her early morning hours, the earth shook and roared prisoner to a sadist eroticism that radically changed the life of her inhabitants.

This would only be the start of the tragedy caused by the 8.8 Richter-scale earthquake that lowered the “flag with the solitary star” in absolute mourning.

The orgasmic movement of the fields, would follow the scourge of the angry, devouring sea, the darkness in which we were immersed in tragedy for at least the next 48 hours, in my opinion … the worst and most degrading part of the day, seeing how a band of criminals took advantage of the state of disaster in Concepción, to plunder everything in their path, and thereby the dignity of an entire country.

Today, nearly 3 months after the incident, Chile once again is waking up…this time embracing the memory of its dead and with the fervent conviction that we will be up on our feet once again, because we have never knelt in front of a conflict, and this won't be the exception. This is Chile’ strength, the blood of the warrior and fighter that runs through the body of each one of its inhabitants.

To get up, does not mean only the will, but also the creation of concrete ideas and projects oriented to the reconstruction of houses and fallen buildings, just like the spirit of the Chileans. It must be understood that this long and wide stretch of land is prone to telluric movements and worse yet, shelter dozens and dozens of geographic faults. Assuming this reality is indispensable to begin the reconstruction and this way I think, is what the least what we stopped reflected upon, tripping time and again on the same rock.

It is important to know that if Chile has around 6,500 kilometers of coastline, then we are a clear target for the anger of the ocean and its tsunamis. Therefore, it is time to decree regulations that prohibit the construction of houses and schools in coastal areas susceptible to being dragged into the sea in the event of an earthquake, distinguishing the insecure areas, with signals of a particular color that alerts the people that they are located in a danger zone. As I heard around there, the areas close to the sea should only be used for touristic and entertainment purposes, close to the coastal area with restaurants, casinos, bars, discos or businesses. This should accompany a governmental plan towards education for the populace regarding how to act and react in case of an earthquake.

Regarding the construction of schools, I think that the governments have been concerned with “constructing” in order to satisfy the people and remain with the label “in our government we have been concerned with education because we constructed 800 schools.” Unfortunately, now we are paying the price of all those who “constructed” their egos and their reputations, leaving thousands of students out of school up until last April. We understand that we should work for Chile, but not for political ends of reelection. If we are to build, let us do so with dignity and materials that assure the survival of the structure and the security of our children and teachers.

Finally, and most importantly, let us be concerned with education the populace from infancy with concepts of civil education and respect, because the more important than first learning to add or subtract, it is to learn how to act in a society and not

It pains me to witness the pain of my people caused by the earthquake, my heart shrinks with each of their stories, but what hurts the most is to see a Chilean trampling the dignity of others.

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