September 22nd, 2009, 15:00
Hurricane jimena relief effort
Hi, everyone. I decided to call Mike Novall at NORRA after the Mexican 1000 Rally was cancelled to offer to help him with the Rally For Relief effort. We brought in our first shipment in a full size truck and trailer through the Tecate border.... the following is a Readers' Digets condensed version of events. I placed a call to a good friend of mine that's a congressman (Diputado Adolfo Gonzalez Agundez)in South Baja, Comondu area. His district covers the Constitucion, Insurgentes, Puerto San Carlos, Lopez Mateos and the ranches and villages in the area. La Purisima was was also affected next to Comondu Comondu county. I called him before I contacted Mike at Norra to see if I could offer him as liasion or a contact. He offered to help and/or fly up to the border if it was necessary to expedite the Customs process. He stated that the city of Tecate had just offered themselves as Sister cities to Comondu and Mulege, so the ball started rolling from there......be careful what you wish for!! LOL In short we had a full size truck and trailer waiting with two enthusiastic South Dakotians with of 5-6 thousand lbs of water, waiting to drive the Baja. After endless calls to the city of Tecate, failed comms, failed faxes, letters, etc. we finally got them through the Tecate border. The first calls started at around 9-10 AM, and they were through the border at around 7-8 PM. I honestly didn't expect to be able to get them through the border on the same day because we were getting our ducks in a row for later shipments but these boys weren't willing to wait and it made everybody shine. It worked out well in the end because everybody pulled together and nobody dropped the ball. I will list the people that helped us and their contact numbers at the end of this post, as usual if I forget someone, sorry, it was kind of hectic!! The people in the Tecate city mayor's (Donaldo Eduardo Penalosa Silva) office were very helpful in expediting this. They contacted the Mayor's wife (Mrs. Silvia Penalosa) who is in charge of DIF (Desarollo Integral de la Familia) the family assistance program at city level. She was nice enough to contact Aduana at the Tecate port of entry after they closed the offices. They asked us for some pertinent information and a letter of request of assistance. The boys were through around 7-8 and and in Ensenada (where I am) by around 10. They spent the night here in Ensenada and after breakfast and loading the Gatorade that was donated the day before, they were headed south. It's sad that we have to go through this painstaking process to import donations, but it's the way it is and we mexicans (and american racers!!) just deal with it. By now they have delivered the goods and should be across the border by tonite. The Red Cross in Santa Rosalia, received this shipment and redistributed it.
During a radio interview Sunday with KCBQ AM 1170 with Dave Stall of SOCAL Off Road Radio Show I had the Comondu Mayor and the congressman on hold just trying to get a realtime status report. I never got my real 2 cents worth in, so I'm using this venue to try to rally some more help. Baja Bush Pilots plans on slowing down their flights soon. They plan on doing a final assault this weekend then I guess they start tapering off their flights. Please keep in mind that they fly their help in because their infrastructure there is gone and this way they can deal with Mexican customs easier. Although their payload capacity is significantly smaller, the help gets there FAST. Maybe now we can help by accessing the area by land. We went to school with this shipment and now we can try to help by trucking construction material, more food, clothing, etc. The area is still a disaster zone, although accessible by land now. For a better idea of what's needed, go to www.bajabushpilots.com to see their list of things that's imperative right now. Although the hurricane was expected to go through the Cabo area, it seems to have veered off north a bit and caused damage all the way from Magdalena Bay on the Pacific and Loreto on the Sea of Cortez side and up to Santa Rosalia northbound. Initially just the Comondu area lost 1000 power poles and 100 high tension poles. The power company already had people there before the hurricane and they got to work right after and powered them up pretty quickly in this area. The help people have been getting in this area is very limited and even the gov't is broke right now. They are in dire need of building materials, among many other basic necessities. The mexican gov't has helped these people by giving them sheet metal for roofs, but no nails and boards?? I would like to use posting to try to thank the people that have helped in this effort.
The City of Tecate, Mayor Donaldo Penalosa and his wife Silvia Penalosa.
The National DIF program(Desarrollo Integral de la Familia) and specially the Tecate DIF, run by the Mrs. Silvia Penalosa.
The Red Cross in Santa Rosalia for helping to coordinate this help.
The Office of Secretario General De Municipio de Tecate, Jose Carlos Perez Terpuli
Phone (665) 654-9214
The people at TECATE ADUANA Point of Entry, who were helpful in expeditiously getting Rob and Brent through, even though we had only notified them hours prior to entry.
Daniel Rodriguez and everybody at Amigo Technologies in San Diego
Congresman Adolfo Gonzalez Agundez, in Comondu County (Baja Sur) for allowing us to follow through with his contacts and pursue the Tecate access POE.
Claudia Cardoza and Jack Mc Collough and everybody at www.bajabushpilots.com. It's hard to fathom all the work they do. As a mexican national, my heartfelt thanks!!
Malcolm Taylor, in Ensenada at Youth With a Mission (619) 240-7872 and (619) 495-8600 for donating the pallets of Gatorade!!
All the donators that make this possible.
Pepe Gonzalez at Gonzalez Race Prep in (011 52 646 177- 4378) Ensenada for volunteering his two trucks (that we WILL be using) and 20' enclosed to transport from Ensenada.
Justin Matney at (www.rpmoffroad.com) RPM Off Road in Tennesse for the donations he doesn't know yet he will be making!!!
Thank you, everyone!!!
Rafael Grijalva www.rpmoffroad.com Ensenada, B.C. [email protected]
September 22nd, 2009 15:00
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