Neighbors Abroad raises money for earthquake relief in Oaxaca

Palo Alto organization aims to collect $10,000 to rebuild children-service centers damaged by massive earthquake

Neighbors Abroad, the Palo Alto organization that spearheads sister city relationships, is looking to raise $10,000 to help rebuild two children's facilities that collapsed in the state of Oaxaca earlier this month during Mexico's biggest earthquake in a century.

The fundraising effort has already netted $4,000 as of Monday afternoon, said Neighbors Abroad President Bob Wenzlau, who is leading the effort. He said the money would go to two programs: a child care center that collapsed in Union Hidalgo, a town in the state of Oaxaca, and an orphanage that was destroyed by the 8.1-magnitude quake.

Wenzlau said the two projects were picked by the organization's Sister City Committee in Oaxaca and Manual Maza, the fire chief at the city of Oaxaca -- a sister city of Palo Alto -- and director of civil defense for the state of Oaxaca.

While the Sept. 7 earthquake caused very limited damage to the city, it reportedly devastated communities in the western part of the state of Oaxaca, closer to the isthmus region.

"The chief of Oaxaca said that of all the things that affected him, the one that affected him the most was the look on kids' faces when their town gets destroyed," Wenzlau said. "He wanted to focus on kids and we wanted to fund two certain areas of contributions where we can make an impact."

Wenzlau said he planned to mail the first installment of $2,000 to the Union Hidalgo center later in the day Monday. The center is run by Crecemos, an organization that provides education and nutrition services to children. Crecemos also manages and operates the Realmadrid AerogubiƱos Foundation, a school that serves 127 girls and boys. According to the organization, the school has closed after all of its walls were damaged by the earthquake, which had also left four children homeless and has left others at risk of losing their homes, pending an evaluation of their structural integrity.

The goal, Wenzlau said, is to raise $5,000 for each of the two organizations.

Donations can be made at


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7 people like this
Posted by Rose
a resident of Mayfield
on Sep 19, 2017 at 12:28 pm

Thank you, Neighbors Abroad, for initiating this opportunity to help our friends in Mexico. You've made it easy. And thank you, Palo Alto Weekly, for highlighting this opportunity.

7 people like this
Posted by Bob Wenzlau
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 19, 2017 at 5:23 pm

Bob Wenzlau is a registered user.

Neighbors Abroad like all is shocked with the news of the earthquake in Mexico City and Puebla. Given that, we still will maintain a focus on helping two devastated children's centers in the isthmus area of Oaxaca state. We believe there is power in focus.

Our local midtown business Como Esta Taqueria has started a fundraiser for relief in Oaxaca. The business is collaborating with Neighbors Abroad. Buy a delicious bowl of Pozole. All proceeds when donating more than $7 per bowl will to to support the impacted children in Oaxaca. Great to have a local business partner! On Sunday they promise a meal where all proceeds will go to Oaxaca.

Like this comment
Posted by Bob Wenzlau
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 21, 2017 at 6:09 am

Bob Wenzlau is a registered user.

The Silicon Valley Community Foundation has established a donation program for the recent Mexico City/Puebla earthquake.

Web Link

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