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I understand there have been problems and issues in regards to the past Hurricane Mitch and Colombian Earthquake relief efforts. It is inevitable that similar catastrophes will occur throughout Latin America in the near future. I believe all the Latin American consulates and specific organizations should organize a task force to prepare for fundraising efforts - TO AVOID SCRAMBLING at the last minute EVERY TIME. Hurricane Mitch took place only in November 1998 - supplies are still rotting away in warehouses! I really get irritated when AVOIDABLE ERRORS take place that affect children who need our assistance.
- The Latino Community is well-known for being disorganized and not willing to work with each other. (Crabs in a barrel). We should forget our differences and learn to work together immediately - children starve and die because supplies do not reach them in time. This is unforgiveable and completely avoidable. I appreciate your comments. Please contact me anytime. Gracias.
- Following is a SUGGESTED CONTINGENCY PLAN FOR A TASK FORCE to prepare for relief efforts for inevitable future catastrophes throughout Latin America. I believe the following is VERY FEASIBLE.

Please read below for Bay Area Resources for Relief Efforts

Select a task force committee and a leader that would meet regularly throughout the year. The leader will call emergency meetings within hours of the announcement of a major catastrophe.
I suggest we contact experts such as retired professionals and executives with the willingness, time, and expertise to manage such efforts. Also, include future community leaders such as college students. Their involvement and energy will allow them to contribute greatly, network with influential community leaders, and gain valuable experience.

Organize fund-raising events throughout the year such as Latino Professional Socials, dances, contests, to collect funds and BUILD a database of volunteers and benefactors. Also collect items for raffles and auctions at fund-raising events.
- Make arrangements with various Bay Area community organizations, corporations, universities, schools, media, entertainment venues and resources, etc, to organize, promote and host fund-raising events within 72 hours of a catastrophe. It is usually more effective to organize LARGE, sponsored and well-attended events instead of small, and potentially poorly-attended events.
- Make arrangements with nonprofit organizations such as the Red Cross and other philanthropic foundations, to provide funds within 24 hours of a catastrophe.

Make available a website which would serve as a central location to distribute the CORRECT information about relief efforts. It would include lists of contact people at: consulates, airlines, shipping and warehouses, Media-radio, television, newspapers, magazines, music bands, ethnic dance groups, singers, celebrities, universities, schools, community organizations, etc.. Build a database of emails and contacts to spread information through the media and especially the Internet. Also collect information of doctors, engineers, and other volunteers willing to travel to help the needy throughout Latin America.

Make arangements with the US Army, canned food companies, water filtration equipment companies, medical supply and medicine companies, etc, to supply warehouses on a regular basis with essential supplies - to be shipped within 24 hours of a catastrophe.
- For example, 30 to 50% of available equipment and supplies in the warehouses could be shipped within 24 hours of a catastrophe. A percentage of equipment and supplies must remain in the warehouses in case multiple catastrophes strike within short periods of time from each other. (example: Hurricane Mitch - November 7, 1998; Colombia Earthquake - January 26, 1999.)

Make arangements with ALL Latin American and US airlines and shipping companies to send supplies within 24 hours of a catastrophe for FREE or at DISCOUNT rates.

Make arrangements with governments throughout Latin America - to have people receive and distribute the supplies and $$. I realize this may be difficult considering there is so much corruption and graft. The United Nations must have such contacts.

Make arrangements with local and international media sources to report the effectiveness and results of the relief efforts.
By Cesar Plata, Founder, www.muybueno.net, Written on April 30, 1999, 408 280-6269, cplata@muybueno.net

Bay Area Relief Efforts Resources

American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter, 888 443-5722

San Jose American Red Cross - Santa Clara Valley Chapter
Donations: please make checks payable to American Red Cross-El Salvador
2731 No First St, San Jose, CA 95134, 408 577-2114,
donations online (secure transactions): www.redcross.org/ca/scv

The American Rescue Team International, PO Box 489, Alameda, 94501 CA
510 523-5493, amerrescue@aol.com, www.amerrescue.org/elsalvador/

El Salvador Earthquake (January 13, 2001) Relief Efforts Resources
Rev: 01/29/01

Suggestion: Use Internet Search Engines such as: yahoo.com, excite.com, and google.com, and submit key words (El Salvador Earthquake, Relief Efforts, Aid, etc.) to obtain information.

The Central American Working Group at Stanford's Center for Latin America Studies

We are collecting money and wiring funds straight to El Salvador, to non-governmental organizations we have worked with in the past. The money will be channeled directly and immediately to communities in a non-political, just, and effective manner.
Please make checks payable to: LAS Central Am AYUDA
Send to: Central American Working Group, 582 Alvarado Row, Stanford, CA, 94305-8545. info eisner11@stanford.edu
Resources courtesy of The Consulate of El Salvador in San Francisco

The Embassy of El Salvador once again appreciates the solidarity of individuals willing to help the victims of the earthquake that struck El Salvador on January 13, 2001.
Consul General of El Salvador,
870 Market St, Ste 508, 415 781-7924
Embassy of El Salvador
, 2308 California St, N.W. Washington, DC, 202 265-9671

Beginning on January 14, only financial donations will be accepted. Monetary donations can be made to: In El Salvador:
To El Comite Financiero de Solidaridad (COMFISOL), to the following bank accounts:
- Banco Salvadoreno #COMFISOL 024-540020989
- Banco Agricola Comercial #COMFISOL 303-002002-3
- Wells Fargo Bank, El Salvador Quake Relief #0047-98-3473

In the USA:
- American Red Cross, 1-800-HELP-NOW
American Red Cross/International Fund/Earmark: El Salvador

Due to the nature of this emergency and the international disaster relief efforts procedures, we do not recommend storing or sending supplies, such as clothing and food. Such items can be obtained in El Salvador with your financial donations.

Persons who are interested in obtaining information about your relatives in El Salvador can contact the following organizations:
- Comite Nacional Solidario (CONASOL), 503 243-3182
- Salvadorean Red Cross, 503 222-5155
- US Embassy (relating to US citizens) 503 278-4444The committee has established the following Bay Area locations to collect financial donations.
Direct deposits can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank throughout the US.

In San Francisco:
M-F, 8 am-4 pm, Consulate of El Salvador, 870 Market St, Ste 508, 415 781-7924
(The consulate is functioning in a state of emergency until the situation subsides in El Salvador)
M-F, 5-10 pm, Presbyterian Church of the Mission, 3261 23rd St, 415 647-8295

In Marin County:
M-F, 5-10 pm, St. Rafael Archangel Church, 110 45th Ave

Resources in El Salvador:
Guanacosonline.com | radioguanaco.com
El Comite Nacional Solidario, CONASOL, 503 243-3182
Cruz Roja Salvadorena, 503 222-5155
Lista de fallecidos identificados, www.elsalvador.com/noticias/terremoto/nacio5.html
El Diario de Hoy, www.elsalvador.com/noticias/index.html
Adminet El Salvador, government links, www.admi.net/world/sv/
Catholic Relief Services, www.catholicrelief.org/where/el_salvador/index.cfm
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