Four months after the earthquake in Bahia Caraquez, where we plan to moor Aldebaran from September-January, hundreds of inhabitants are still homeless and have to live in the emergency structures called “albergues”. The coastal town was 60% destroyed by the April earthquake (see NBC videos or BBC pictures).
Thanks to Unite to Light, our humanitarian partner, we are proud to sail to Ecuador with 100 solar lights to gift to those in need! During this year’s Earth Day in Santa Barbara, solar lights were purchased with matching donation going to Green Coconut Run’s “Cruising with a Cause”. This is one way that we hope to make a positive impact along our voyage. To date, we’ve donated lights to off-grid families or conservation projects in Costa Rica and Panama (images shared in our Instagram feed, stories to come).
Bahia Caraquez is one of South America’s most popular cruising ports, considered safe to leave a boat while sailors return home or travel through the Andes, without the surge or high costs of the harbor at Salinas. Cruisers can find interesting info at YachtPals or Noonsite.
A United Nations office claims that 28,000 people throughout the Ecuadorian coastline are still living in temporary shelters due to the earthquake’s devastation. Without tourism, many citizens are without work; the Minister of Urban Development, Maria Duarte, has called for visitors to return to the coast to help the economy.
These cruisers describe their visit to Bahia Caraquez in 2014 and its sometimes harrowing river channel entrance.