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I'm just a volunteer

Voices which speak for the thousands of volunteers who, without hesitation, can be found at collapsed buildings to help those trapped beneath the rubble.
Volunteers - File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
25/09/2017
16:00
OPINION: Paola Rojas
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For Andrea Estévez, volunteer. For Lucía Zamora, rescued from underneath the rubble. Your courage and strength are an inspiration. 

“I'm just a volunteer. I've already been beneath the rubble and I'll continue going back there to help these people; because I'm a father. I have a girl of 10, a boy of 13, and another girl of 4, and it's sad to know a school collapsed. I'm not a Topo (Mexican volunteer rescuers - Moles), but since I was the thinnest of the group I volunteered. I told them I could fit through those spaces. I'm no rescuer. I'm just someone who arrived here to help the people, the children. I came to help rescue a person alive.”

“We've been working removing debris, drilling holes, taking a look inside to get readings on our heat scanners. We're here to help, like any other people who have children. I imagine that any mother would do the same. I have kids, mine are safe and sound, thank God. That's why I'm here to help and I'm not going to stop.”

These are just two testimonies of the many I've heard in the days after the earthquake. Voices which speak for the thousands of volunteers who, without hesitation, can be found at collapsed buildings to help those trapped beneath the rubble. The victims are strangers, but they could be alive underneath rocks and dust. That is enough.

Rescuers have had no shortage of food or water. Many come with their hands full to make sure these teams of citizens don't go hungry. Blankets, medical supplies, lanterns, batteries, tools. They all bring what they can.

This mobilization was vital during the first hours of the earthquake. Hours when heavy equipment couldn't be used to avoid hurting the survivors. Hours when only the hands of many could remove rods, concrete blocks or pieces of slabs. The seventy people rescued alive wouldn't still be here without this collective effort.

The Enrique Rebsamen school grew out of order. Expansions and new levels which, today, is more than clear didn't meet construction standards. Neighbours spent years pointing out the irregularities. It was closed down more than once. Without the corruption of the authorities who allowed it, we wouldn't be talking today about children who perished beneath the rubble.

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