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Stories From the Chilean Earthquake

Mar 4, 2010

by lolos handmade and vintage goods

Lolo_bio_pic.jpgWe cannot adequately express our sympathies for Chileans in the wake of the recent earthquake and ensuing tsunami. Our thoughts are with the people of Chile and those with loved ones in the country. Lolos is a native Chilean who gathered these moving stories from fellow Chileans in the Etsy community and would like to share an outreach project that you can participate in — read more to find out how you can help.

I am a Chilean artist, actor and designer who was born in Viña del Mar, a wonderful coastal city, and raised in Punta Arenas, the southernmost city in the world. My whole family lives in Chile including my widowed mother and my brother.

For now I’m living with my adorable family (husband and daughter) in Gainesville, Florida. I opened my Etsy shop lolos about three years ago.
Chile is the land of the Mapuche warrior, of the good wine and the coveted copper. It is long and narrow, from north to south, with arid deserts and fertile green valleys. Chile is the land of songwriters and wholehearted poets that sing of illusion and hope. We are dreamers and fighters with 200 years of living and thinking of love.

My cell phone was ringing early Saturday morning, February 27, and I was woken up by my sister, who lives here in the U.S. like me. She gave me the news from Chile. I had so many thoughts in my head at that moment. I was scared about my mom and my brother. We could not communicate with our family for a long while, as the phone lines were dead. Minutes of waiting were like hours. Finally, after trying and trying, I was able to break through and it was an enormous relief to hear the voices of my family sounding good and alive.

I immediately began thinking of my other Chilean friends. Here are some accounts from the Etsy community who personally experienced this disaster:



memegalarce: “My friends, it was horrible. The earthquake reached 8.3 on the Richter scale and it never ended; people slept in the streets and there are 82 dead and counting [Note: It is estimated that the current number is around 800]. Buildings completely collapsed, there is flooding in the south and on the islands, and the airport and bus terminals were closed for at least 48 hours. All over the central and southern part of the country there is a state of catastrophe. The most affected city was Concepción.”

Photo by jwvlahos

aylla: “I am okay and my family as well. It was a tremendous scare — it was terrible. I live on the twelfth floor and it felt as if the building was about to fall; I feel so lucky that it held up. Everything flew off the shelves and fell down — bookcases, TV sets, etc. But the important thing is we are all okay. The sad part is that there are too many people in different regions that are suffering tremendously, dead or disappeared.”

mylittleaura: “I experienced the quake like a tourist, in a downtown adobe hostel, as I was visiting from the U.S. I thought the building would collapse — the beds were covered in dust, stucco and even nails. At least I was with my husband and my children.”

brushdesign: “It was so strong — a horrible scare and I was so nervous. The worst thing is that there are lots of aftershocks that continue scaring everyone, including myself. People are without water, food and electricity. They are desperate and reverting to looting to get food. The regions are devastated by the tsunami and the roads are completely blocked. I am still uneasy, but personally I am okay.”



Thank you, friends. Now my people need help. Every single day the situation over there is growing worse. A group of women in Chile are organizing an event called “frazada solidaria” (solidarity blanket) where they are creating patchwork blankets made of 20 x 20 cm crocheted or knitted squares, utilizing any type of yarn. These squares will then be sewn together to create the blankets, which will be donated to relief efforts.

Photo by MPrairiehome

If you want to help make one or more squares to donate to this great cause, please Convo me as soon as you can! I will be sending the squares to Chile, and after they receive the squares they will have a special ceremony to put them together and create the blankets.

For donations to Chile, just go to this link where you can choose from a variety of relief organizations. For more information on how you can help my people please feel free to Convo me anytime. Thank you so much for your support and help!

Thanks to lolos and our other Etsy contributors for sharing Chile’s story after this tragedy. Our hearts go out to all Chileans and we wish you a swift and safe recovery.

Are you an Etsy seller donating a portion of your profits to charity? Let us know how to find your shop in the comments.

More Etsy International Posts


  • craftscafe

    craftscafe said 8 years ago

    Lolo - thanks so much for this article! I was so impressed with etsy’s community response to the earthquake in Haiti & grateful for an opportunity to help out via Hearts for Haiti & Craft Hope for Haiti & I hope to help again!

  • BululuStudio

    BululuStudio said 8 years ago

    wow, nice surprise. Great article.

  • EmsEmporium

    EmsEmporium said 8 years ago

    interesting article, thanks for your perspective

  • jewelrybyjackie

    jewelrybyjackie said 8 years ago

    My heart goes out to all those who have been affected by the earthquake in Chile. Wonderful idea for helping create blankets.

  • beautifulbridget

    beautifulbridget said 8 years ago

    My heart goes out to everyone affected by this tragedy :(

  • grandmamarievintage

    grandmamarievintage said 8 years ago

    What a beautifully written article and idea. I wish I had the skills to make a square for the blanket! I will definitely donate to one of the relief organizations instead. My thoughts and hope goes to all the Chilean people!

  • Radness

    Radness said 8 years ago

    Thank you so very much for all the first hand accounts. Chile was hit with one of the most strongest earthquakes ever. It's great that we can come together all over the world and help out.

  • candacejean

    candacejean said 8 years ago

    Very moving stories.. my deepest sympathies to all those affected. It's so nice that Etsy is addressing this and offering ways we all can help. Thank you!

  • girltuesdayjewelry

    girltuesdayjewelry said 8 years ago

    I would love to contribute some crocheted squares, Lolo. I will send you a convo...

  • sleepyking

    sleepyking said 8 years ago

    My thoughts are with the people of Chili (and Haiti) everyday. Thanks for writing this article. Very touching.

  • cindylouwho2

    cindylouwho2 said 8 years ago

    thank you for promoting this blanket effort! I was relieved to find out that all my Chilean friends know their families are safe, but so sad for all of those that aren't

  • bylynnkrestel

    bylynnkrestel said 8 years ago

    oh please know our prayers are with you all!

  • LeatherWorksWithYou

    LeatherWorksWithYou said 8 years ago

    I gave money at out Lutheran church last night for the relief project. It saddens me to find people in distress. Makes the stress in my life seem small in comparison. I will find a way to give an item or some of my sales to this relief. I only sew I don't knit or crochet, how can I help?MJ

  • floresdelsol

    floresdelsol said 8 years ago

    fuerza Chile!!!!!!!!! muchas gracias lolo. As a wife of a Chilean and with loved ones in the country my is with the beautiful people of Chile.

  • lolos

    lolos said 8 years ago

    Thank you so much to everyone for your response. Please help us to make wonderful squares ( Knitted or crochet ) to send to my people there. Thank you so much to the Etsy Community! Love you all! Lolo :-)))

  • floresdelsol

    floresdelsol said 8 years ago

    %15 of my sales I will donate to the cause. Thanks for this opportunity to do my part my shops:

  • unflappableproducts

    unflappableproducts said 8 years ago

    I am so glad Etsy addressed this as they did Haiti and my hearts go out to all of those who gave their accounts-my prayers are with all of those affected by this terrible event. I do knit and will do what I can-what a great idea. anything to help in some small way.

  • norakaren

    norakaren said 8 years ago

    Lolos my heart goes with you and our chilean brothers and sisters. We are neighbours and have to be together on this difficult times. Dios los bendiga.

  • sharonclancydesigns

    sharonclancydesigns said 8 years ago

    My heart is with the Chilean people.

  • EtsyLatino

    EtsyLatino said 8 years ago

    Fuerza Chile and to our member teams. Estamos con ustedes y las apoyamos en esta gran cause. Let's go to crochet or knitting a 20x20cm squares. Thank you so much Lolo for this great article. Etsy Latino Team!

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat said 8 years ago

    Living in the UK it's hard to imagine what it must be like to live through a natural disaster of this kind, as we don't have earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, etc. It must be truly terrifying & just seeing the aftermath is heartbreaking. Thanks to Etsy for giving us some ideas of how to help.

  • karileigh4

    karileigh4 said 8 years ago

    thanks for posting about this. Such a horrible tragedy.

  • Laurasbox

    Laurasbox said 8 years ago

    Great Article

  • heythatsmine

    heythatsmine said 8 years ago

    My husband's family is all in Chile and are luckily ok -- way nervous, though. My son's Middle School teacher just called to ask about organizations to which they might be able to donate proceeds from the Bake Sale they'll hold next week. She also told me they'll let the students pay $1 per day to be allowed to chew gum, they're calling it, "Chewing for Chile". If any of you can make the suggestion at your schools, please do so -- what a great way for the kids to help. In our case, they were extremely sensitive to my children's needs and I can't believe how wonderful their outpouring of support is.

  • irenecollane

    irenecollane said 8 years ago

    Sono vicina a tutti voi!!!!!

  • KristyLynnJewelry

    KristyLynnJewelry said 8 years ago

    Great article!! My Prayers are with all those that have been affected by this horrible tragedy!

  • maggiemaevintage

    maggiemaevintage said 8 years ago

    Beautiful quilt... best wishes and many thoughts and prayers to you, your family, friends and loved ones. With so much devastation this is a beautiful way to help make a difference, one square at a time

  • birchbeerboutique

    birchbeerboutique said 8 years ago

    Maybe its a little difficult for those of us on the West Coast in North America to acknowledge this earthquake in Chile because its so close to home. All the more reason to help! I like to think that if my kids were involved in an earthquake of this magnitude in Vancouver the world would reach out to help them too. I will divert my donations for the Yele Foundation to the Chile Disaster Relief - 25% of sales. (my sister store) will continue to donate 25% of sales to the Yele Foundation for Haiti disaster relief.

  • tantancharms

    tantancharms said 8 years ago

    Great article Lolo...fuerza Chile!

  • iceBerk

    iceBerk said 8 years ago

    We also lived the same terrible earthquake in our Country Turkey in 1999 and I can feel the pain that in Chili. With this article I really feel very proud to be a memmber of a such sensitive group.Started to knit..

  • UNAshop

    UNAshop said 8 years ago

    Muy buen articulo Lolo! My prayers for Chile recovery. Hope you get lots of squares!!

  • tantancharms

    tantancharms said 8 years ago

    Great article Lolo, fuerza Chile!

  • BetaBoutique

    BetaBoutique said 8 years ago

    This is such a tragedy, my heart hurts for Chile.

  • RabbitHoleProduction

    RabbitHoleProduction said 8 years ago

    Wonderful article that helps us feel firsthand the effects of tragedy.

  • bysweetmom

    bysweetmom said 8 years ago

    great idea, my heart goes out to all who have been affected by this tragedy

  • hulagirlsoapco

    hulagirlsoapco said 8 years ago

    Prayers with everyone. We must NOT forget Haiti is in a horrid state right now. People dying from disease, no food or shelter. Babies still without Mothers or Fathers to take care of them. I have donated..please Donate! They need us more then ever now.

  • ME2Designs

    ME2Designs said 8 years ago

    Lolos, thank you and Etsy for sharing the stories of the plight in Chile! I was so moved by the comments from the Etsians in Chile featured in my treasury, and thank you to the Etsy Latino Team for posting the blog link in which donations can be made. Our hearts and thoughts have been, and continue to be, with the lovely citizens of Chile in this time of disaster.

  • memegalarce

    memegalarce said 8 years ago

    I just want to say thanks to all the Etsy community people who wrote to me expressing his concern and empathy for the terrible experience which we live. I can only tell you that their greetings and displays of affection have warmed our hearts. Now we will continue working to rebuild the country we want. Thousands of hugs to you all...and sorry my english :)

  • lifeofcolors

    lifeofcolors said 8 years ago

    I'm sorry for your losses...

  • minouette

    minouette said 8 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your stories. I've had the great pleasure of spending a month in Valparaíso and Viña del Mar, west of Santiago, and sailing south towards Concepcíon, to do research related to tsunami hazard - I hope the friends I made are okay and my sincere condolensces to families who have lost people. (The event actually reached 8.8 according to the USGS.)

  • JemmDee

    JemmDee said 8 years ago

    I'm so glad to hear our fellow etsians are ok. What a scary experience! My thoughts and prayers with those still suffering from this disaster. Thank you Lolo for writing this article.

  • AtelierDArte

    AtelierDArte said 8 years ago

    Congratulaciones, chicas por el artículo, está muy bueno. Ustedes merecem estar en Storque!!!

  • aylla

    aylla said 8 years ago

    Thank you so much to all the Etsians, for your concern,for the beautiful words of support and your prayers at this difficult time... Thank you from the bottom of my heart. We are sad, right now, but Chile will stand up and will recover the beautiful country we had just days ago... Thank you...

  • lorenaferreira

    lorenaferreira said 8 years ago

    I am truly moved to see all this wonderful support from our etsy community. These are truly difficult times here in Chile for so many people who have lost everything including what is most precious to us all, dear loved ones. All I can do is urge all our etsy family to help in whatever way they can. We are always stronger together. I will be posting link to help in my shop tomorrow once my 10 year old son and parents have finally arrived from the south where this earthquake was worst. Please convo me or any of our Chilean team members for more info. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. lorena

  • ClickityClack

    ClickityClack said 8 years ago

    I can't imagine how terrifing it must be to have the earth betray you by not staying still and solid! I will start doing a little knitting and crocheting to help. For thoses you don't knit or crochet could fabric blocks be sent somewhere to be put together and quilted?

  • Pavalu

    Pavalu said 8 years ago

    I'm Chilean, and so moved by this article, all my family is in Chile and is so sad to see pictures and news about places that we know and people that we love having such a hard time, I'll be convo you Lolo to see where I can send the squares, thanks for the article.

  • giabowtique

    giabowtique said 8 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your stories and thoughts during this hard time. We send you all our prayers and strength and everything else we can!

  • oreldesign

    oreldesign said 8 years ago

    Great article, let's support Chile in this hard time!!

  • ClaudiaOlivos

    ClaudiaOlivos said 8 years ago

    Lolito! Thanks for this article--yo soy Chilena also! And my heart has been heavy since Saturday morning...all my family and many, many friends in Chile. Thank you for including my little painting here! On Saturday, we are donating artwork at a fundraiser here in Washington C where I currently reside-it is being auspiced by the Chilean Embassy and the OAS. Our work will be placed in a raffle and some at a silent auction..we will travel to Chile at the end of this month to hug our family and friends personally! So very, very sad. Fuerza Chile! Viva Chile! Lolo...I don't sew...but if you think of any way in which I can participate..please let me know-what a fantastic project! besos mil a todos-and thanks everyone who is supppoting our lovely Chile lindo!

  • Iammie

    Iammie said 8 years ago

    Nice article.

  • nataliasaldias

    nataliasaldias said 8 years ago

    bello artículo, espero salgamos adelante...

  • cronopia6

    cronopia6 said 8 years ago

    thanks lolo etsianas thanks to all who care for our country, to all those who have written, made prayers for our people. We want all the love and support you to reach all the people who are grieving the loss of a family or household. I hope they understand my English.

  • ecokaren

    ecokaren said 8 years ago

    Great article Lolo.... First, I'm so glad your family is doing well. You must have been worried to no end. I will contact you to send you some squares. When is the deadline? Thanks for sharing. Love to your people.

  • BellaBeadjeweled

    BellaBeadjeweled said 8 years ago

    Thank you for the great article and personal perspective and stories, Lolo. Glad your family is safe. I am from Hawai'i and sat rapt watching local news, with concerns about a tsunami. Small world we all live in. Leinaala

  • yanessab

    yanessab said 8 years ago

    Gracias por compartir Lolo! GReat article!

  • 2212jewelry

    2212jewelry said 8 years ago

    lolo que bueno que se registren los testimonios! que bien lo escribiste! Gracias por ocuparte! un beso ale

  • manena

    manena said 8 years ago

    Dear Lolo, I loved your article and feel for the all the chilenos who are living there. Spent most of Saturday night and Sunday trying to contact the family via messenger to see if everyone was OK. Thank GOD they are well. I just hope the new government will everything it can to restore the south. Thank you creating the article.

  • thehouseofhemp

    thehouseofhemp said 8 years ago

    gladly making squares a plenty to send to lolos for the chilean relief effort - muchos gracias lolos por su esfuerzo - xo

  • chapulin

    chapulin said 8 years ago

    Fantastic article! Thank you so much for your support. Arriba Chile! My beautiful country.

  • needlepointnmore

    needlepointnmore said 8 years ago

    Lolo!! Thanks so much for the article and for include me!! Viva Chile, mi alma!!! Arriba los corazones!

  • brushdesign

    brushdesign said 8 years ago

    Gracias, excelente articulo. Es lo que cada una sintio luego del terremoto. Necesitamos mucho apoyo y ayuda. Gracias!

  • brushdesign

    brushdesign said 8 years ago

    Thank you for your support. Great article. It was what everyone of us in Chile felt after this massive earthquake. We appreciatte every kind of support. Thank you very much. And if you want to spread the word. Embed the badges that are in this url: which are linked to the Google crisis response website. Thanks again. Thank you Lolo.

  • LaBestia

    LaBestia said 8 years ago

    Great article! thank you for sharing Lolo!!, please don't forget to support this cause!!!

  • nataliadieguez

    nataliadieguez said 8 years ago

    Excelente articulo Lolo, gracias por compartirlo con toda la comunidad. Fuerza Chile!! Natalia

  • PattiTrostle

    PattiTrostle said 8 years ago

    Great article. My heart truly goes out to them.

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 8 years ago

    Hope you get all the support and love for this tragedy. My prayers are with you!

  • wizeowlhandprints

    wizeowlhandprints said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the informative article! I would love to help knit a square.

  • LeidysIntuition

    LeidysIntuition said 8 years ago

    todo nuestro corazon y apoyo esta con los hermanos chilenos mucha bendiciones de Dios.

  • AudreyGardenLady

    AudreyGardenLady said 8 years ago

    My heart aches for the people of Chile. I wish I knew how to knit. Prayers to you and yours, Audrey

  • SugarCreations

    SugarCreations said 8 years ago

    Gracias Lolo por este articulo! Mis oraciones continuan para ti, tu familia y todo Chile. Besos y Abrazos, -Ana SugarCreations

  • aemcdraw

    aemcdraw said 8 years ago

    Just send you a convo. Count me in for a square. :)

  • LeatherWorksWithYou

    LeatherWorksWithYou said 8 years ago

    I have been in contact with lolos. I am unable to knit or crochet however she is accepting my wool/sherpa in 8"squares that I am cutting and finishing the edges then will be sending to her address she gave me. MJ

  • wwide408

    wwide408 said 8 years ago

    I hope Chile will be able to recover quickly and the death toll doesn't rise to high I can't believe, another huge earthquake we need to pray for everyone. You can send help, aide through any of your favorite charities find info on Donations of clean water, food, clothing and temp shelters. We can make a difference! we will !

  • Frankenkitty

    Frankenkitty said 8 years ago

    Thank you for sharing these stories. My heart goes out to those affected by this disaster.

  • GraciesGardenDesigns

    GraciesGardenDesigns said 8 years ago

    This is so sad. They as well as Haiti need so much prayer and hope in a time of such disaster. I wish I could go help, but for now I will just donate. If you would like to visit my site, a portion of my proceeds go to The Spina Bifida Association in honor of my sweet son Tristan Ray who has this birth defect. I am just starting out, but I have tons of hats and accessories that I will add everyday. Thanks for supporting handmade and the Spina Bifida Association.

  • AdultIndulgences

    AdultIndulgences said 8 years ago

    These stories are amazing and heart wrenching. I'm so glad to see this on etsy!!!!!

  • mylittleaura

    mylittleaura said 8 years ago

    Thanks so much for this and all my "Etsy friends" who have been concern about my family and me. Thanks God we are fine. I f you want to know more about it check Unicef page Vamos Chile!!!

  • mylittleaura

    mylittleaura said 8 years ago

    and I´m sorry I forgot to add...I´m very proud of my family: my 20 year old sister just left to the South part of Chile as a volunter and my brother is since last Wednesday in Juan Fernandez, one of the island attracted by the tsunami helping too. I´m very proud to be Chilean, I love the people definitly were are warriors...

  • FlorLarios

    FlorLarios said 8 years ago

    Yo ya se lo que es pasar por un terremoto y los dias que vienen son bien dificiles. Muy lindo tu apoyo Lolo. Mucha fuerza para los Chilenos y para todos los voluntarios que los estan ayudando.

  • TangoRocks

    TangoRocks said 8 years ago

    thank you so much for sharing your stories my dear friends from Chile. You are in my heart and I could not help but cry as I read the article and the comments after. Mis oraciones van por Chile y su gente. Que Dos bendiga a todas y a sus familias. Thank you mylittleaura for the unicef page. Ya saben que las quiero, besos, Carla

  • crystalindumentaria

    crystalindumentaria said 8 years ago

    Fuerza CHile, que nuestros hermanos chilenos tengan la fuerza necesaria para superar el dolor y salir adelante.. Le pido paz a la energia universal para que aquellos que esten en peligro queden a salvo..paz y fortaleza por haiti y por chile. Olinda Lorena Mayor by CRYSTAL women´s clothing♥

  • lololyta

    lololyta said 8 years ago

    My heart and prayers are with them... also I would like to help with the squares ,,,I will convo you. Thank you Lolo

  • LeatherWorksWithYou

    LeatherWorksWithYou said 8 years ago

    I am working to get some gals from my church here in SD that knit or crochet squares for your Chilean Relief Project. Would need your address, again, please. MJ

  • BanglewoodSupplies

    BanglewoodSupplies said 8 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your story. I wish I knew how to knit...

  • StichesInTime

    StichesInTime said 8 years ago

    I was on vacation in Cuba two weeks before the quake, where I met some lovely Chilean people. One lady in particular helped me with my Spanish. As soon as I heard about the quake, I thought of those lovely people and am still hoping that they made it through unscathed. I think the blanket idea is lovely and would be happy to participate.

  • ALBdam1

    ALBdam1 said 8 years ago

    I am willing to become part of the support effort for the Chilean people in their time of need and love the idea of the "frazada solidaria" I don't sew but am willing to donate material.

  • LuannDanzlDesigns

    LuannDanzlDesigns said 8 years ago

    Wonderful article. It is important to help others whenever possible, but especially in times of need.

  • autumnray09

    autumnray09 said 8 years ago

    Hi Lolo, Thank you very much for this lovely heart felt article. When I heard of the Chile Earthquake during breakfast my husband and I brainstormed on what we can do. So we created a online store that day and I started crocheting scarves to put on etsy. That way I can take my 25% profit and donate it to the Red Cross. I will be glad to participate. Bless you and all those who are sending their gifts of love to those in this hour of need. Warm Hugs, Autumn

  • hariharan

    hariharan said 8 years ago

    god help to them

  • LafesHiddenTreasures

    LafesHiddenTreasures said 8 years ago

    My thoughts and prayers are pouring out to you and all of Chile.

  • anemonecomms

    anemonecomms said 8 years ago

    love and thoughts to you all

  • FionaDogz

    FionaDogz said 8 years ago

    Gracias Lolo por apoyar esta causa. Donde en Chile se pueden mandar los cuadrados?

  • gabeadz

    gabeadz said 8 years ago

    Wow Lolo, great article! La verdad eso de Chile fue muyyy triste, Ojala que nunca estemos es una situacion asi. Dios los cuide mucho y proteja a todos aquellos que perdieron todo!!

  • SilkMari

    SilkMari said 8 years ago heart goes out to you and your family and friends in Chile...lolos...the uncertainty of not know of your mom and brother I know must have had you to the point of hysterics...I am happy for you that they are safe and sound.

  • Floreal

    Floreal said 8 years ago

    My heart goes out to all those impacted by the earthquake.. but now... are'nt we all?

  • needlepointnmore

    needlepointnmore said 8 years ago

    I lived the 1985"s earthquake in Chile, was nothing comparing with this. Now, I live here in Michigan, USA. The rest of my family lives down in Chile, every time I talk with some of them, I can feel the fears in their voices, even they only lost materials belongs. Lolo, thanks for this article, thanks to Etsy for published. I love Chile and I love USA.

  • DeAnneDeSigns

    DeAnneDeSigns said 8 years ago

    Great article.

  • KateVanDorenStudio

    KateVanDorenStudio said 8 years ago

    Thank you for this article and thank you for all that you are doing to help.

  • HornCatCreations

    HornCatCreations said 8 years ago

    Thank-you for writing about this. It feels like this event has been overshadowed by the event that happened not too long ago in Haiti. Please understand, I am not trying to downplay what happened in Haiti at all. Both tragedies are so overwhelming. Thank-you for sharing these stories!

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