This past April 2016 the coast of Ecuador suffered a devastating magnitude 7.8 earthquake. The automatic response was to run to the disaster area and help, not knowing that most of the time these unskilled volunteers became another casualty. Months later, government, universities etc. are working nonstop in order to responsibly restore the area. Nonetheless, are we being efficient in order to prevent the possible effects of disasters to come? Almost 70% of Latin America is built on informality, and almost 80% of the destroyed and demolished infrastructure was due the lack of technical support. As professionals and academics, are we acting where it is necessary? A crisis creates opportunities, and knowing that most of Ecuador is in constant danger because of probable natural disasters, acting local may be more effective and can have a long lasting effect, rather than focus all the resources and effort in the disaster areas. These two academic case studies, one which took place just a couple of days after the earthquake which required immediate attention and the other several months later which required a local analysis, value the endogenous work in order to build a consciousness about our reality as a stronger service than simply rebuilding.
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