How To Help Others When Disaster Strikes In Mexico


If you are like many other immigrants from Mexico, when tragedy strikes back home, it can leave you feeling helpless and frustrated. It is only human nature to want to be able to help, but the question is often how. The answers are varied, but here are several different ways that you can send help when the next personal tragedy or catastrophe, such as a hurricane, affects your loved ones or fellow countrymen in Mexico. 

Personal Tragedy

If a loved one becomes ill, is injured or is affected by a natural catastrophe, your first instinct may be to hop on a plane or to drive home. However, that is often a bad idea, especially when it comes to large natural or man-made disasters for the following reasons:

  • Infrastructure problems. In the event of a large-scale disaster, Mexico's infrastructure could be severely compromised, so you might not be able to reach your loved ones. Planes may not be able to land or the road system may have been destroyed in the affected area. 
  • Your immigration status. Depending on your immigration status, you might not be able easily return to the United States if you decide to leave. 
  • High crime rates. Even if your loved ones are in need of financial assistance, it would be unwise to travel across Mexico with a large sum of money. According to the U.S. Department of State, carjacking and highway robbery are serious problems in Mexico, especially near the border region. Kidnapping for extortion purposes is another big problem in Mexico, as is gang activity.

So what can you do if you need to send assistance to loved ones in Mexico?

  • Transfer money. Rather than physically carrying money to your loved ones, use a money service to transfer your funds to them safely. Services like typically cost very little and are a much safer way to provide financial assistance to a person in need. Some services will send the money directly to a bank, while others offer cash pickup from designated locations. There are also some companies that provide both services. And once set up, you can then use these services to send more money, as needed, in the future. 

Natural and Man-made Disasters

It's very hard to watch the horrifying consequences of a natural or man-made disaster on television broadcasts and not want to help out. However, many relief organizations prefer that you don't travel to the affected area unless you have specific medical, rescue or other such important training, as you could become more of a hindrance than a help. Plus, you and any other "volunteers" could end up draining an already limited food and water supply.

So, instead of traveling to Mexico, consider providing financial and other assistance to survivors by these means:

  • Donate clothing and other goods. Often when a disaster strikes, local groups will set up collections for apparel and other necessities. But it's important not to use the charity as a dumping ground. Choose only items that are appropriate for Mexico's climate and that are in good condition.
  • Donate money to a legitimate charity. Unfortunately, a lot of scam artists will use a natural disaster as a means to make money for themselves. Be very careful, for example, of crowdfunding sites, which are sometimes set up for people in legitimate need by scammers who end up pocketing the money.  
  • Consider transferring money to someone you know directly. If you know of a person in the area of Mexico that has, for example, lost their house, consider transferring money to them directly. That way, you can be assured that the money will be used for its intended purpose and not for a charity's overhead.

Helping out after a personal or large-scale disaster is a noble act, but it is important to offer assistance in a manner that will truly be helpful to those who will need it most. 


4 April 2016

Learning about Payday Loans

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