ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Consul of Mexico in St. Paul is reaching out to the Mexican community in Minnesota, while those with ties to Mexico are also trying to independently reach family and friends in the earthquake-ravaged region.
In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Consul general Gerardo Guerrero shared the phone numbers people can call to find out the status of loved ones near the earthquake’s epicenter. He also urged people wanting to help to donate to the Mexican Red Cross.
In the meantime, many with relatives in the region have already reached out to their family by phone or through social media.
“We called by phone first of all, and we couldn’t get nobody,” said Alfredo Frias, co-owner of Boca Chica Restaurante Mexicano y Cantina in St. Paul about his extended family living in Mexico City.
Since those initial calls, Frias has been able to reach most of his relatives. But he – and 75 to 80 people of his staff who are from Mexico – continue to monitor every development from their home country.
“They are very strong people. They will do everything to, you know, get back to normal again,” he said.
But getting “back to normal” may take some time, especially from the perspective of those who experienced another of the country’s major earthquakes exactly 32 years ago.
“That was really strong. That was a lots. Lots of people die,” said Vida Rodriguez, who lived in Mexico when the 1985 earthquake struck.
Rodriguez has been staying in touch with family this week by social media. She scrolls through pictures and videos of the wreckage, grateful her family survived but distraught by the sheer devastation in her home country.
“It’s sad. It’s hard,” she said, adding that she knows “a hundred percent,” the Mexican community will once again recover.
“We are Mexicans, you know," she said. "And I think that a lot of people, they help each other.”
People wanting to check on loved ones living in Mexico can call the Center for Information and Assistance for Mexicans at: 1 855 4636 395 or 001 5206 237 874. For information on U.S. citizens also visiting or living in Mexico, they can call the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs at: 202-501-4444 or 1-888-407-47, extension 0, or check: www.travel.state.gov.
To make a donation to the Mexican Red Cross, go to: cruzrojadonaciones.org, then select the cause, “SISMO 19/09/17.”