If you have come to Best Ways to Help Ecuador looking for the most recent information, please check out Ecuador Earthquake Relief Can Include Tourism which was published on May 18, 2016.

The outpouring of help is very welcome here in Ecuador. Countries are sending supplies and people. Locals are asking to volunteer. Every grocery store in most major towns have donation locations to collect supplies to send them where they are most needed. But things are still somewhat chaotic. This post will help you know how and where you can help best.

I am going to list many small non-profits that will not be listed in Charity Navigator. While I cannot guarantee that every dollar donated will go where promised, I can tell you that cash given directly to some of the smallest of these organizations will make some of the biggest differences directly on the ground. Please use your common sense when donating and if something feels wrong, donate to another organization.

UPDATE – April 22 – New article posted on Food, Water, and Shelter options. Please share widely.

UPDATE – April 20, 2016 – Please continue to send us fundraising links for the smallest of communities. Rumors are running rampant and we know that many small towns are still hard to get to. The Ecuadorian government, 13 other nations, and dozens of international organizations are doing everything they can to help.

UPDATE – April 19, 2016 – I am still adding organizations to this list but am heavily focused on local groups, especially in small towns where there is still no electricity and they are running out of clean water and food. Although many in the Sierra want to leave in their own vehicles to take supplies, please consider working with local governments and organizations to coordinate efforts. Roads to the coast are still not in full repair and the less traffic we make, the faster supplies can arrive.

Update on the 7.8 Earthquake

Most of you will already know that there was a 7.8 earthquake on the northern coast of Ecuador on Saturday, April 17, 2016. To put that in perspective, this quake was six times stronger than the 7.3 quake that hit Japan this past Saturday. The Richter scale is a strange beast and an increase of 1 on the scale means that a quake is 10 times stronger than the number preceding.

A state of emergency has been declared in six provinces along the western coast: Esmeraldas, Santo Domingo, Manabí, Guayas, Los Ríos, and Santa Elena. Affected provinces may not have basic services restored, and there are many road closures. The Government of Ecuador posts the most up-to-date information on the status of recovery efforts at http://www.gestionderiesgos.gob.ec/.

As of last reporting by the Ecuadorian National Police, the death toll is 246 and there are 1578 injured. Both tolls are expected to rise.

The best up-to-date reporting in English is at The Guardian.

On the morning of April 19, reports are over 400 dead with many still trapped. Getting assistance to some of the smallest communities has been hampered by damaged roads.

On the morning of April 20, there are over 500 reported dead. Today is essential for rescue crews to reach people under the rubble and it will be one of the last days to possibly find people alive. The UN generally calls off searches after 5 to 7 days. NPR has a story on the latest developments.

Volunteer Opportunities in Ecuador

Many, many of you are wanting to head directly to the coast to help. Please take a moment to consider if your presence will take more effort to support than the help you can give. Remember, you will need a place to sleep, you will need food to eat, you will need transportation back and forth. If those resources can be better used to bring in volunteers with emergency rescue experience or counseling for children, please consider volunteering in your local community instead. Cuenca and Quito are mobilizing volunteers to help collect, sort, and package donations.

Remember, it is very likely that communities in the Sierra will be helping refugees from the coast. Your help might be better used in your own community preparing for an influx of refugees!

Please DO NOT TRAVEL to the coast without having a firm volunteer commitment with an organization.

Volunteer in Cuenca

If you live in Cuenca and would like to help collect, sort, and package donations, please contact Adriano Uintimilla at 099 719 4073 (He speaks English).

Volunteer in Quito

If you live in Quito and would like to volunteer, either in the city or to go to the coast, please call (02) 228-3915, ext 141, 112, 154, or 150. Hashtag to follow for more information on Twitter is #QuitoSolidario.

You can also call 1-800-456-789 option 5.

Donations of non-perishable goods are being accepted at Convention Center at Parque Bicentenario, all Supermaxis, Megamaxis, Akis, Gran Akis, and TVentas, any church of the Archdioces of Quito, the Scala Shopping administrantive offices, Cruz del Papa (Parque Carolina), and Tribuna del Sur.

Volunteer on the Coast

The Ministry of Health is looking for experienced volunteers. If you are a medical specialist (trauma, surgery, emergency medicine), a nurse, or a psychologist, please see the latest information on the Ministry of Health Twitter Feed.

If you are unsure how you can best help, please fill out this online form and let the Ministry of Health know your abilities. With this information, the Ministry can best place you in the area where you are most needed.

A more general call has gone out to register by telephone to 1-800-APOYAR or 1-800-VOLUNTARIO or to check out the twitter feed @voluntarioEC.

The organization, All Hands Volunteers, has launched an Ecuador Earthquake Response program. They asking interested volunteers to fill out this form and are specifically looking for volunteers with carpentry and building skills or project management skills.

Donation Opportunities to the Government of Ecuador

The government of Ecuador is making it possible to donate directly to the government. Donations will be used in three phases: first donations will help with humanitarian aid including search and rescue; the second phase will go towards mobilizing help within the country; the third phase will help with recovery of coastal communities.

If you live in Ecuador and have a local bank account, you can donate to:

  • Account #3001033189 at the Banco de Fomento for direct deposit at the window
  • Account #011218057 at the Banco Central del Ecuador for direct transfer

If you live overseas and would like to donate, you may:

  • Make a Swift Transfer to Account #101602 del Fondo Latinoamericano de Reservas (FLAR)
  • Or make a Swift Transfer to Account #3751560139 at Bank of America in New York

This information was translated from http://www.andes.info.ec/.

If you live outside of the larger cities and are looking for other options to donate, this list includes a map and the location of MIES, Ministerio de Inclusión Económica y Social, in many smaller towns. The map includes addresses and telephone numbers.

Donation Opportunities to Small, Local Charities

General to Coastal Ecuador

Andean Health and Development is an organization that works with rural communities in Ecuador to provide better health care. They are working with the Ministry of Health to triage and receive critically ill surgical patients from many coastal cities at the Hesburgh Hospital in Santa Domingo. If you can help, please donate here.

The Conferencia Episcopal Ecuatoriana has set up a GoFundMe page for international donations. If you live in Ecuador, you can donate directly to the bank account of the Conferencia Episcopal Ecuatoriana: Cuenta Corriente Banco del Pichincha # 3085358804 RUC 1790100219001.

Ceiba, an organization that protects one of the local dry forests, an endangered habitat in coastal Ecuador, is accepting donations to help with recovery of small communities on the coast (more than $15,000 raised so far).

Janna Cain-DeLimongi is raising funds to help her cousins in Ecuador. Her GoFundMe page does not list a specific location but she plans on sending funds to her family via Western Union.

Waterbearers, an organization specializing in water filtration is ready to distribute water filters to communities in need and is asking for your donations to help their efforts.

Another organization working to make clean water available to everyone on the coast is LifeStraw. Each purifier can serve 75-100 people. Donate here to help this effort.


The Mayor of Cuenca is taking donations at the office of the Desarrollo Social Cuenca until 8:30pm at Presidente Borrero between Sucre and Presidente Cordova. Non-perishable food only. See this facebook post.

Also see this facebook post for places to donate non-perishable food items and clothing in good repair.

Hearts of Gold, a non-profit working out of Cuenca, has started an Earthquake Relief Fund.

For those of you who know George Forgues, he is collecting supplies to take down. His paypal is geoforgues@msn.com.


The Global Shapers Quito Hub is taking monetary donations and turning them into blankets, drinking water, canned food, first aid medicine, mattresses, and clean clothes. They have raised over $16,000 so far. If you would like to help them, visit their Indiegogo site.

Ceibo (mentioned above in general help) are also taking donations of food and supplies in Cumbaya on Calle Antonio Salguero casa 17 y Pampita, in care of Catherine Woodward.

The University of San Francisco in Cumbaya will take donations on MONDAY in the HALL USFO. They will accept tents, water, basic first aid medications, insect repellent, and non-perishable food. See their facebook post for more info.

A local business in Tumbaco, GreenWood Builders, will be headed to the coast to help build temporary structures and with clean up. They can take some donations with them and are open to monetary donations to help out. Please contact Steven Lozano at Greenwoodecuador@gmail.com for more information.

A local business in Quito, Colchones Resiflex, is donating mattresses to families on the coast so that they have something to sleep on while outside. They are asking for $20 donations for each mattress sent. They will pay for the production and the logistics to deliver them. To donate, make a local payment to:

    Banco Pichincha
    Cuenta corriente Nº: 35061307-04
    Nombre: Elli Arocha Baier
    Correo: elliarocha@yahoo.com
    C.I.: 1707558068
    Teléfono: 0998321656.
    Colchones Resiflex símbolo de descanso.



The Fundacion Enrique Tabara, at Cdla Centenario, Calle Aurelio Carrera 811 y Bogota is collecting donations of clothing, water, milk, diapers, grains, sugar, canned goods, and dry goods. For further information, please call 096-926-9562.

Santa Elena


Mercado de Salinas, off Calle 38 and 22 de diciembre, six blocks back from the malecon, is accepting donations of all kinds.

The Cruz Roja, directly behind the GAD municipal building just off the malecon by Salinas Yacht Club, is accepting donations of all kinds.


Please share your information on any donation opportunities to directly help small towns in the province of Manabí.


Locals in Canoa have started a GoFundMe effort. Immediate concern is WATER. This group is working with VivaVerde, licensed by the Ecuadorian Government to provide drinking water in emergency relief.

There is a GoFundMe account set up to help take medical supplies to Canoa.


Esperanza Canina, an animal rescue center has been destroyed. If you can help with food or medicine for animals or cleaning supplies for the rescue center, please drop off donations at Avenida 24 between Calles 12 and 13 in the offices of Salud Global. If you can help with a cash donation, they have a paypal account. Send money to esperanza.canina.manta@gmail.com. Or you can add money to their local Ecuadorian bank account:

  • Banco Internacional
  • Cuenta de Ahorros #7100783879
  • Name: Funcacion Esperanza Canina
  • RUC: 1391814933001


A GoFundMe account to support Cinterandes , a mobile surgical team out of Cuenca, has gone up. They are currently in Pedernales and are in need of more medical and surgical supplies. People in Ecuador can donate directly to Banco del Pacífico; Deposit to Fundación Cinterandes, cuenta corriente (account number) # 1966812.

From the Ecuador Expats page, we know that a family member has been helping to feed locals in Pedernales. She has asked that donations go to the local church to help purchase more food. The name of the Church is Maria Auxiliadora and the donations are being made in the name of the curate of the church, Denny Javier Montserrate Palma, Savings Account #5450604500, Banco del Pichincha. For more information, you can contact him directly at cell phone 099-918-9474.

San Clemente

A GoFundMe Account has been started to help the people of San Clemente. It has been started by the family of expats living in the small fishing village.



Business owner Beat Wettstein of Sukamitra is taking a carload of doctors to the area. If you are able to help, please donate money directly to his account: Banco del Pichincha, Beat Wettstein; Cuenta Corriente #3491035504.

Donation Opportunities to Large Charities

The Ecuadorian Red Cross is taking monetary donations to their bank account:

  • Banco Pichincha
  • Cuenta corriente: 3462520104
  • Name on the account: Fondo de emergencia
  • Beneficiary: Cruz Roja Ecuatoriana – Quito
  • RUC: 1791241746001
  • If you live outside of Ecuador, but would still like to donate to the Ecuadorian Red Cross, three university students in the United States have started a Go-Fund-Me account. Any funds they collect will go directly the Ecuadorian Red Cross.

    Oxfam (British NGO) is requesting emergency donations.

    UNICEF is on the ground and requests donations through the Children’s Emergency Fund.

    Heifer International is mobilizing teams to assess projects in Coastal Ecuador. They are asking for donations to their disaster rehabilitation campaign.

    Extreme Response is organizing with their partner in the earthquake zone, Casa de Dios. You can visit www.extremeresponse.org and designate your donation “Ecuador Earthquake”.

    Shelter Box is sending a response team to Ecuador and has pre-positioned aide in Columbia, Bolivia, and Panama for immediate delivery when roads and/or airports are available. You can donate here.

    Samaritan’s Purse has added an Ecuador specific fundraising page. They will be sending a Tier-2 emergency field hospital with emergency staff. They also plan on bringing clean water for 50,000 people and shelters for 5,000 families.

    One Mission Society is helping with both short term relief and longer term help in the region. You can donate to their Ecuador Emergency Earthquake Relief Fund.

    Cahtolic Relief Services has started a direct campaign for earthquake relief in Ecuador.

    Operation USA, a Los Angeles based international relief agency is assessing needs and taking donations to help with relief and recovery.

    Global Giving has raised $20,000 of their $1,000,000 goal that is specific to Ecuador Earthquake Relief. All donations to this fund will exclusively support locally driven relief and recovery efforts from this disaster. You can donate here.

    TOPOS out of Mexico is sending Rescue Teams. You can donate through their Paypal Accunt, donativos@brigada-rescate-topos.org. If you live in Mexico, you can donate to their Bank Account – Banco: Santander Cuenta: 92-00070929-4; CLABE: 014180920007092942; Referencia: Brigada de Rescate Topos Tlaltelolco, A.C.

    Americans Living in Ecuador

    For Americans living in Ecuador wanting to know the latest safety updates, please make sure you are registered with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. And if you are in Ecuador and need assistance, the Embassy has posted that any American citizens requiring Mission assistance should contact the US Consulate General GYE at 04-371-7000 or US Embassy Quito at 02-398-5200.

    SKYPE has made it easy for your friends and family outside of Ecuador to call you. They are allowing free calls to landlines and mobiles into Ecuador for the next few days.

    Searching for Lost Relatives

    Facebook has been an excellent source for information on the safety of people, so if you have an account, check the status of your friend. There is a good chance they may have already check in via the Facebook Safety messaging system.

    The US Embassy in Quito reminded Americans that if they are in the U.S. and are calling about a U.S. citizen friend or family member, they can call 1-888-407-4747. They may also contact EcuadorEmergencyUSC@state.gov.

    The US National Library of Medicine has a search page to help locate friends and family who may have been impacted by the earthquake. The People Locater page can be slow to load but we are sharing it for your information. They have lists that include missing, alive and well, deceased, and unknown. Please help fill in the gaps if you can.

    Also, Google Person Finder is active in Ecuador. This can help you find family members that have not yet contacted you. You can either choose “I am searching for someone (Estoy buscando a alguien)” or “I have information about someone (Tengo información sobre alguien)”.

    Last but Not Least, Sources of Information

    The best sources of information from the government of Ecuador can be accessed via Twitter – especially Riesgos Ecuador – or on Facebook, Riesgos Ecuador.

    Also consider following the Twitter hashtags #SismoEcuador and #ECU911. Both have a lot of good information.

    Please let us know in the comments below if a link is not working or if you have one you would like to add.