"I wanted to join the Red Cross because it is a solidary movement and I want to be part of it"

Published: 10 November 2016 2:13 CET

On April 16, 2016 Dellanira Suarez was in the city of Manta, in Manabi Province; she was enjoying the beautiful and quiet beaches of the area. She never imagined that in that peaceful moment a powerful magnitude 7.2 earthquake would take her by surprise. Just as the tragedy began, her strength drove her to offer her help to the Red Cross.

Dellanira is a volunteer for the Red Cross in the city of Pedernales, where she was born. However, that day she was full of anguish because she was unable to be with her children and her mother. She could not move from Manta to Pedernales. In normal circumstances, it would take her about three hours to get home, but at that moment everything has collapsed and she could not travel on her own since the city of Manta was a complete scenario of chaos, pain and destruction. She knew that helping hands were urgently needed, and she did not hesitate to ease her anxiety by helping others: "I was anxious because I could not help people in my town, but helping many other people and saving two lives made me feel calmer," says Dellanira remembering the night of the disaster.

This 22-year-old mother lives in the city of Pedernales with her two children and her mother. She lost loved ones and acquaintances on the day the earthquake and she says these events have motivated her to continue with their work as a volunteer. "I wanted to join the Red Cross because it is a solidary movement and I want to be part of this," says Dellanira.

Taking care of her two children demands a considerable part of her time, but she manages to organize herself for voluntary activities. "Helping people is something that I have always wanted and even when I have many things to do, I always look for ways to go to the Red Cross because it is something I like too much," she says.

Dellanira feels very comfortable with her volunteer work and this encourages her to continue in the Movement. She also wants to acquire more knowledge to achieve a better performance in the activities in her community. Although the earthquake changed her life and the life of many families, it has also changed the way of seeing life, people and solidarity. She decided not to be just an observer, but a volunteer for action and positive change.

The work of Ecuadorian Red Cross in the areas affected by the earthquake has been possible thanks to the support of more than four thousand volunteers like Dellanira who give their time selflessly to this humanitarian work that saves lives. Thanks to them, hundreds of people have found hope and helping hands to ease the pain of the most vulnerable.