My First (And Hopefully Last) Earthquake

Evelia Bautista
Communication Studies Major
Non- WMU Program- Universidad Latina De America, Mexico, Spring 2018

I never thought I’d live an earthquake, ever. It was Friday afternoon and I was sitting in the dining room with two other people when suddenly we all felt dizzy. Everything spun. One of them asked “Is that an earthquake?! Everyone, run outside!” Once outside we noticed that all other neighbors had also stepped out their homes which confirmed that we weren’t imagining things, it was actually an Earthquake.

I always watched in the news how light bulbs in buildings shook and buildings collapsed. That’s how I pictured an Earthquake, not dizziness. It was a 7.3 magnitude Earthquake that struck Oaxaca which is 2 states away from where I am staying yet we still felt it here.

Knowing the conditions that people live in and how they sustain themselves with little income made me really hope that no major damages were done. They can’t afford it. Thankfully, there were no known deaths but it sure was a scare.

Well, not that an earthquake was in my to-do-list but it sure is one for the record.

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I was honored to be able to visit Puruandiro which is a small town known for its workshops owned by older men who still hand make traditional crafts. This man uses a wooden machine that was made over 100 years ago by his great grandfather to make Gabanes. Gabanes are woven blankets with openings in the middle through where a person can put their head through. This was the traditional sweater that Mexicans wore. He demonstrated to us how he makes them thread by thread taking him 2 days to complete just one of them. This has been his only job all his life and now that he’s in his 80’s he’s finding it hard to sell gabanes because machine production in other countries are taking over the market. His hope has always been that someone in his family keeps this tradition going but none of his children or grandchildren are interested in learning instead they have pursued higher education. He says he is willing to teach anyone interested if the government helps him financially. This means providing everything needed to teach from location to supplies. There’s a saying that goes, “Echando a perder se aprende” which means that in order to learn you must first spoil things but that is something this man says he cannot financially afford.

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When we shop local or small we REALLY are helping small families. They need us. Let’s do more of that.

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