World Affairs

Mexico Is Still Standing

October 3, 2017  • Ricardo Salinas

Just days after an earthquake that devastated three states in southern Mexico, its people were again put to the test by Mother Nature. The loss of human life, sense of helplessness, pain, wounds, and fear were patently obvious. But, as always, Mexico is getting back on its feet, showing the world that it is an unbreakable and united country.

Across hundreds of kilometers of devastation, the sight of thousands of Mexicans breaking concrete slabs and relentlessly digging to rescue the people they didn’t know has deeply moved us, not to mention the thousands of others forming a support chain behind them. Stores have been stripped of medical material and groceries because people of all walks of life rushed out to buy anything they could to donate, and tons of aid stand ready for distribution at dozens of collection points. The streets are teeming with motorbikes, pickups, and cars delivering rescue supplies, while social networks feature millions of messages asking for and offering help. Shelters have been set up for the homeless.

Besides the thousands of volunteers supporting the rescue effort and the dozens of civil organizations coordinating the relief work with surprising alacrity, we should thank the rescue and protection services ─ firefighters, paramedics, Civil Protection, the Army, the Navy, and the Mexican Red Cross ─ for their professionalism and dedication.

My firm, Grupo Salinas, cannot be just a bystander. That is why we set up a campaign to help earthquake victims in the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Tabasco, Puebla, Morelos and Mexico City. The proceeds will be used to rebuild the homes of those affected so families can move on with their lives.

We have recently experienced great fear and helplessness, but we cannot let those feelings get the better of us. We must channel our pain into something positive, something that can make a difference.

Mexicans are a helpful and giving people who rise to the occasion; we never give up. The sense of unity that is part of our very essence has come through once more and fills us with pride: indeed, it sets us apart in an increasingly selfish world. Powerful images from rescue sites are circulating all over the globe, and the world looks on in amazement and admiration because we are a strong, generous, and unstoppable race.

Today we are united by the grief of knowing that there are still people trapped under the rubble and seeing people who have lost everything. We are overwhelmed by a feeling of helplessness and sadness, but we are not alone: we have each other. Mexico is still standing.