How to help Mexico’s earthquake victims

Search and rescue teams remove rubble at a collapsed six-story residential building in Mexico City.
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

In the wake of the deadly earthquake that shook central Mexico this week, fundraisers have been launched in Mexico and the United States to aid the thousands in need of food and shelter.

At least 230 people have been confirmed dead since the 7.1 earthquake struck Tuesday. At least 1,000 people were injured.

The quake made buildings sway violently in Mexico City, sending thousands of people fleeing into the streets in the minutes after it hit. Offices, apartment buildings and schools collapsed. Rescue workers were still searching for survivors. Here’s how to help, with tips on how to pick a charity.

Where to donate

Topos - (site in Spanish)

Topos de Tlateloco was founded after the devastating 1985 earthquake in Mexico that killed thousands. It is a professional nonprofit rescue brigade. Topos, which means “moles” in Spanish, is mobilizing to find survivors of this earthquake.


The organization’s website has been intermittently down in the past day, but you can send them money via PayPal to donativos@brigada-rescate-topos-org.

Project Paz -

Project Paz, a New York City-based nonprofit, is raising funds specifically for earthquake relief.

UNICEF Mexico - (site in Spanish)

The United Nations Children’s Fund is accepting donations for Mexico earthquake relief. Actress Salma Hayek donated $100,000 and launched a fundraiser for UNICEF through CrowdRise. In a video message, Hayek recalls living through the 1985 quake and how “a lot of friends died, including an uncle who was very, very close to me. I have lived through the aftermath of a disaster of this magnitude. It’s horrific.”

GlobalGiving -

GlobalGiving takes donations and distributes them to local recovery efforts. It has raised more than $150,000 so far for earthquake relief in Mexico. You can donate through the website or by texting MEXICO to 80100 (from the United States only). The tweet below also refers to the 8 magnitude quake that hit Mexico earlier this month.

How to tell if a charity is legitimate

Not all fundraisers are created equal. Sadly, after many disasters, fake charities spring up to take advantage of people’s kind-heartedness. The website Charity Navigator, which evaluates nonprofit groups, has released a list of worthy organizations raising money for Mexico quake relief.

What to donate

As with most disasters, relief organizations will benefit more from cash donations than sending items. Stuffed animals and blankets generally do more harm than help after a disaster. Money is really the most helpful thing to send at this time.

Is there another organization that should be listed here? Let me know on Twitter: @jessica_roy.


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