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Chile: Thoughts About the Earthquake and Reconstruction Process

The 2010 Global Voices Citizen Media Summit sought to engage Chilean bloggers through a blogging competition organized in collaboration with the organization OCD Iberoamérica. On the first day of the public event, five Chilean bloggers were honored as finalists, with one taking home the main prize.

The contest was designed to encourage Chilean bloggers to express their ideas in order to share their thoughts regarding the current social situation after the earthquake and during the country's reconstruction. Two Global Voices authors, Silvia Viñas and Felipe Cordero participated as judges on the competition jury. The following are a look at the 4 finalists.

Blogger Marcelo Aliaga describes his experience being caught in the earthquake [es]:

El terremoto me encontró en Santiago. El edificio en el que vivo, el caos, las sirenas, la oscuridad, el lobby lleno y la vigilia siguen en mi mente. También la caminata zombie por la mañana para ver cómo había quedado la ciudad, la moneda, la plaza, la polvareda, pero no fue ahí cuando la magnitud del daño fue asimilada.

The earthquake found me in Santiago. The building in which I live, the chaos, the sirens, the darkness, the full lobby, and the vigil remain in my mind. Also, the zombie-like walk in the morning to see how the city had remained, (the presidential palace) la moneda, the plaza, the dust, but it was not there when the magnitude of the damage was absorbed.

Carolina Castro sees the dire situation in some of the communities affected [es]:

Constitución es hoy una ciudad estancada en el tiempo. No parece que el maremoto haya pasado hace cuatro semanas, pues su rutina parece ser la de un eterno domingo. A diferencia de otras localidades asoladas por el terremoto en menor intensidad, aquí jamás ha sido lunes. El comercio no ha vuelto a funcionar y las personas no han vuelto a trabajar. El silencio de la gente es la característica reinante del lugar. Los adultos no cruzan más que un breve saludo y los niños no salen a jugar a las calles. Silencio al caminar, silencio al comer y muchos silencios al hablar.

Today, Constitución is a city left in time. It does not appear that the tsunami took place four weeks ago, its routine appears to be one of an eternal Sunday. The difference of other stricken communities by the earthquake is less in intensity, here it has never been Monday. Commerce has not returned and the people have not returned to work. The silence of the people is a reigning characteristic of the place. The adults do not pass by with more than a brief greeting and the children do not play in the streets. Walking in silence, eating in silence, and many, talking in silence.

However, the country is in the process of reconstruction and Cecilia Monge writes about the spirit of Chileans [es]:

Y finalmente la reconstrucción. Comenzamos a dejar de sentir el miedo y empezamos a sólo a recordarlo. La emoción fue reemplazada por el deber moral y nos impusimos cuotas diversas de sacrificio personal, una donación, un trabajo voluntario, unas lágrimas frente al reportaje humano de un canal de televisión.

And finally the reconstruction. We have begun to stop feeling scared and have begun only to remember the fear. The feeling was replaced by the moral duty and we have imposed various quotas or personal sacrifice, a donation, volunteer work, tears in front of the human report on television.

Finally, Pablo Ramírez has some words of encouragement [es] for his fellow countrymen and women.

Quiero seguir las palabras de Oscar Guillermo Garretón: Chile saldrá adelante. Siempre lo ha hecho. Será más fácil si lo hacemos juntos. Me apasiona soñar en un mañana mejor. Más bello, seguro y amable gracias a todos nosotros.

I would like to follow the words of (member of Congress) Oscar Guillermo Garretón: Chile will come out ahead. It always has. It will be easier if we do so together. I am passionate about dreaming about a better tomorrow. More beautiful, safer, and kinder thanks to all of us.

We will feature the winning blogger in the competition in the near future.

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