We are all aware of the devastating 8.8-magnitude earthquake that struck 75 miles off the coast of the city of Concepcion, Chile on Saturday, February 27. Following the earthquake I received numerous messages from friends worried about my family in Hawaii, and concerned about the well-being of the fishing village of Pisagua along the northern coast of Chile's Region I. With only two hours until the projected arrival on Hawaii's shores of the tsunami wave, and numerous frantic phone calls unanswered, my parents finally returned my call to calmly inform me that, "We're walking to the farmer's market." Three days later, the phone line to Pisagua finally cleared and I was able to confirm that the wave surge that devastated the Southern coastal town of Talcahuano never arrived at Pisagua. This was my personal account with this catastrophic event, however the tragedy and humanitarian situation now facing Chile extends far beyond this seemingly trivial experience.

Last November, 2-months prior to the second round of presidential elections in Chile, I stumbled upon a workshop in Iquique printing and manufacturing flags and banners for the senatorial campaign of Julio Lagos. Belonging to the center-right liberal conservative political party, Renovacion Nacional (RN), the same party as the President-elect Sebastian Pinera, Lagos later lost his bid for a seat in the Chilean Senate. A little more than 6 weeks after the election of Sebastian Pinera, the strongest earthquake in recent history shook the physical, social, political, and economic fabric of Chile. With less than 8 days remaining in the presidency of Michelle Bachelet, Pinera will inheret a much-altered Chile facing a humanitarian crisis beyond anything he could have ever imagined when he was proclaimed the presidential candidate for the RN party a little more than 6 months ago.

There are many agencies supporting the rescue and aide of both crises facing the Chilean and Haitian populations. You can help by donating to any of these agencies, or to the American Red Cross by texting "Chile" to 90999 to donate $10 to the preliminary appeal of $6.4 million in emergency aide to Chile. Thank you for reading 52/52 this week. Let's hope for the best for those in Chile and Haiti.

This image was taken on a Canon EOS 5D and a Canon 24-105mm f/4.0L lens.

Check back again next week Wednesday for the 52/52 picture of the week!

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