Resilience and commitment in the aftermath of Mexico's devastating earthquakes

  • The strongest earthquake in a century struck Mexico on 8 September 2017. It was followed by two  powerful quakes in the following weeks with devastating effects on Central and Southern Mexico.
    The strongest earthquake in a century struck Mexico on 8 September 2017. It was followed by two powerful quakes in the following weeks with devastating effects on Central and Southern Mexico.
  • In Asunción Ixtaltepec 80% of homes were left inhabitable.
    In Asunción Ixtaltepec 80% of homes were left inhabitable.
  • "I was very scared, it didn't stop - it was endless", says Beatriz, Mexfam Clinical Operations Director. "I nevery imaged remotely how much it would impact the community. I immediately thought of the clinic - how was the clinic".
    "I was very scared, it didn't stop - it was endless", says Beatriz, Mexfam Clinical Operations Director. "I nevery imaged remotely how much it would impact the community. I immediately thought of the clinic - how was the clinic".
  • Dr. José Javier Jiménez Cruz Medical Director and Founder of Mexfam’s clinic in Ixtaltepec.
    Dr. José Javier Jiménez Cruz Medical Director and Founder of Mexfam’s clinic in Ixtaltepec.
  • Dr. José Javier Jiménez Cruz Medical Director and Founder of Mexfam’s clinic in Ixtaltepec runs a clinic for local women.
    Dr. José Javier Jiménez Cruz Medical Director and Founder of Mexfam’s clinic in Ixtaltepec runs a clinic for local women.
  • While the clinic suffered damage, it remains one of the only operational health clinics for miles providing a lifeline to the local communities.
    While the clinic suffered damage, it remains one of the only operational health clinics for miles providing a lifeline to the local communities.
  • Despite the fact that many Mexfam staff experienced loss, destruction and terror they never stopped offering services and care to those in need.
    Despite the fact that many Mexfam staff experienced loss, destruction and terror they never stopped offering services and care to those in need.
  • Doña Maria has been a volunteer with Mexfam for 27 years. Today, at age 74, she continues to be there for women and youth believing all women should have quality healthcare. She grew up in a poor Mexican coastal town, and as a girl, she traveled with her mother in small boats and by foot to help women give birth safely.
    Doña Maria has been a volunteer with Mexfam for 27 years. Today, at age 74, she continues to be there for women and youth believing all women should have quality healthcare. She grew up in a poor Mexican coastal town, and as a girl, she traveled with her mother in small boats and by foot to help women give birth safely.
  • Doña Maria lost most of her home to the powerful earthquake that hit Mexico in September. But she hasn’t lost her resolve. Now, she attends to women and youth on a makeshift bed near the kitchen, including a recent emergency birth in the middle of the night. "Since the earthquake, I’ve been very sad,” says Doña Maria. “I need a place where I can take care of women, make them feel comfortable and safe—they trust me."
    Doña Maria lost most of her home to the powerful earthquake that hit Mexico in September. But she hasn’t lost her resolve. Now, she attends to women and youth on a makeshift bed near the kitchen, including a recent emergency birth in the middle of the night. "Since the earthquake, I’ve been very sad,” says Doña Maria. “I need a place where I can take care of women, make them feel comfortable and safe—they trust me."
  • Since the earthquakes, Ixtaltepec and the surrounding area has experienced thousands of aftershocks.
    Since the earthquakes, Ixtaltepec and the surrounding area has experienced thousands of aftershocks.
  • Mexfam staff continue to provide care to their communities; putting people first.
    Mexfam staff continue to provide care to their communities; putting people first.

In September 2017, Mexico suffered from a devastating magnitude 7.1 earthquake that left hundreds dead and injured, while crushing buildings and destroying infrastructure.

We immediately activated our humanitarian response network which assessed damage, deployed personnel, and made sure our mobile clinics were able to operate and reach local communities with vital healthcare and services.

Mexfam, an IPPF member association in Mexico, continued to provide free healthcare during and after the record-breaking earthquakes, despite many members of staff losing their homes and even family members.

This is what resilience looks like and we thank those that continue to provide people with vital sexual and reproductive healthcare.

Photography © IPPF/Brenda Islas
Photos: © IPPF/Brenda Islas