On April 16, 2016 the village of Canoa, Ecuador was hit by a massive 7.8 earthquake. The population, especially the kids, were left traumatized and with an incredibly high fear factor associated with earthquakes and tsunamis that prevented them from attending school, work and in general moving forward with their lives.
The Vive Sin Miedo organization (Live without Fear) was created as a response to rebuild the human infrastructure of Canoa. Vive Sin Miedo is a psychological campaign providing tools, such as emergency preparation, to confront fear and build resilience in children. They work with over 700 kids on the coast in schools, kindergartens, after school programs and even orphanages. The Orange Backpack Project was developed by Vive Sin Miedo to provide student emergency evacuation backpacks and teacher mobile first aide kits to children’s institutions. Through an alliance with Ecuador Freedom Bike Rentals and Pack for a Purpose , travelers are given the opportunity to help earthquake survivors recover from their early childhood trauma by bringing supplies to fill the orange backpacks. While many of these supplies are easily found at the dollar store, they are costly and difficult to find in Ecuador. Travelers are now using their extra luggage space to help conquer fear in Ecuador! How amazing is that?