Ecuadorian Community Mounts Earthquake Relief Effort

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DAVIS --

The Ecuadorian Association of California is setting up collection sites and is using its website to collect monies to aid victims of the earthquake in Ecuador.

"People are sleeping in the streets right now," said Association President Jose Granda as he looked at pictures of the devastation on the Internet.

Granda is an engineering professor at Sacramento State, and he lives in Davis. He has been on the phone constantly with relatives and friends in his native country since Saturday's earthquake.

Granda is still missing a cousin who lives in the northwest corner of the country, which saw the most damage. But his immediate family is safe.

The organization was set up as a charitable nonprofit to raise money for hospitals, children and the elderly long before the quake. The website was revised to allow for monetary donations days after the catastrophe.

"We never thought that the same infrastructure that we set up we could use it in an earthquake," said Granda.

Its network of members are able to use the money to buy supplies in Ecuador.

Orthopedic and medical supplies are also being collected for members to transport to Ecuador. It's also cooperating with the Red Cross and the Ecuadorian consulate to transport supplies that are collected.

He is asking people to go to AECalifornia.org to donate to the cause.

"It's was quite a shock...this is a time where we need solidarity with the country," said Granda.