When Maria Navache was rescued, after twenty hours of being buried alive, she discovered that her entire family had been killed as a result of a catastrophic earthquake that hit her hometown. This, and many stories like hers, is what the people of Canoa, Ecuador experienced. Once a thriving town, Canoa quickly declined into economic and morale despair. Loss of lives and jobs coupled with limited resources left the small town in limbo. Tzu Chi volunteers stepped in, working together within the community, to restore an anchor of hope-The Church. With a complete understanding of the necessity to aid a town who experienced such devastation, volunteers worked expeditiously. “ You can see the change. People here are a lot more grateful because they feel like life is finally moving on. Once the church is rebuilt, which is vital for our community and they start going to church, I think that people are going to start to feel better.” states Tzu Chi Volunteer Boris Garcia. “This is going to restore a wonderful sense of hope and happiness, we’ll have somewhere to visit and that will bring joy to everyone. We need this church” says resident Santo Cuero Cagüa.
In the words of Founder, Master Cheng Yen “Know your blessings, cherish them and sow more blessings.” What better blessing then restoring a place of worship?
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