2,836,576 metric tons of food entered the United States through the Port of Los Angeles last year. The largest import: fruit. The best-represented exporting country, Chile.
Source: Saveur March 2010

When I read this I couldn’t help but wonder what impact will the earthquake have on Chile’s infrastructure, not to mention the country’s people – especially working people. Chile’s ports were badly damaged by the earthquake and the tsunami. Summer is almost over and school starts in March in Chile and much of Latin America. The harvest season is done; and it’s too soon to tell what impact the earthquake has had on the future of the country’s agricultural exports.

Is there a connection between fruit for sale and the desperation of people taking food from grocery shelves in the city of ConcepciĆ³n, the second largest city and the one most affected by the earthquake? Can those ships out at sea turn back with its cargo of blueberries and raspberries? I never buy fruit that isn’t in season in the U.S. anyway. Tsunamis are now wiping out coastal cities. I see more indigenous Chileans sleeping outdoors.

The quake has also exposed the fact, experts say, that although Chile is one of the most developed countries in the region, it is also one of the most unequal, with huge pockets of urban and rural poor, who suffered most in the quake.
Source: The New York Times (March 2, 2010)

What would Neruda say?

I awakened when dreamland gave way beneath
my bed.

-Pablo Neruda, “Earthquakes,” Canto General

I purchased a copy of Canto General in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Ernesto Guevara (aka Che) always carried a copy of Neruda’s poems with him. Chile was the first leg of Ernesto’s journey as a young med student which was recorded in his “Motorcycle Diaries.” What are homeless Chileans carrying to their tents?

Chile has a 9/11 too.

Saturday’s Chile earthquake was so powerful that it likely shifted an Earth axis and shortened the length of a day, NASA announced Monday.
Source: National Geographic News

Talk about last days kind of events. Are we getting older faster or just faster?

It seems we’re all in this together.

The Red Cross has set up a relief fund for Chile. You can find out more here.