John Overmyer

Haití y los límites de la generosidad

MELBOURNE – En todo el mundo, la gente ha respondido generosamente al devastador terremoto que sacudió a Haití. En sólo tres días, más de un millón de norteamericanos habían donado 10 dólares con la ayuda de mensajes de texto desde sus celulares. Gente de escasos recursos, como María Pacheco, una madre soltera desempleada de Chicago, donó alimentos y ropa.

Otros hicieron lo que pudieron –desde servicios de podología hasta lavados de autos- para recaudar dinero. Según las indicaciones actuales, la cantidad que los norteamericanos donarán para los esfuerzos de rescate en Haití podría superar los 1.900 millones de dólares que ofrecieron para asistir a las víctimas del tsunami asiático de 2004, que hasta ahora ha marcado un récord en materia de donaciones para un desastre fuera de Estados Unidos. Dado que Estados Unidos está atravesando difíciles tiempos económicos, la magnitud de la respuesta ha sorprendido a muchos.

La proximidad de Haití, más el hecho de que cerca de un millón de haitianos viven en Estados Unidos, explica en parte por qué los norteamericanos han respondido tan generosamente. Pero la respuesta ha sido mundial. En Melbourne, para el Abierto de Australia, Roger Federer, Serena Williams y otras estrellas realizaron un partido exhibición que generó donaciones de 600.000 dólares. En Ruanda, un grupo de trabajadores comunitarios del área de la salud, que ganan menos de 200 dólares por mes, recaudaron 7.000 dólares para Haití.

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