Telethon… The Earthquake part II

So after this whole Earthquake thing, Chile decided to have a telethon to raise money to help itself. The telethon was titled “Chile Ayuda a Chile” (Chile help Chile).

Now having grown up on New Zealand telethons, I expect a level of cheesiness and overall celebrities doing stupid things for money. In recent years telethons have been boring and drawn out, with an overall lack of entertainment value.
To my surprise; in Chile, a telethon is an extravaganza of epic proportions and the celebrities are actually… well … famous.

We had finally made it to Machali, driving south was a long journey. It usually is a very quick trip, but the detours due to broken highway were still in place.


The queues were long, and by the time Pauli and I made it to Rancauga it was dark. There were piles of rubble outside every house. A lot of “danger, keep out” tape.

We had a couple of big shakes during that night, and I was thankful that we were in a structurally sound house. The next couple of days were the same. Cristi arrived on Saturday. She arrived in time for the telethon. The show launched at 10pm with a song and dance number which set the tone for the whole event.

Lucia and Pauli prepared snacks and drinks. (Pear-Chocolate pie, and pisco sours)


Michelle Bachelet encouraged her people to raise their flags outside their houses in honour of the dead. So early in the morning we did just that.

We watched the telethon on and off all day.
As the telethon neared an end, it became apparent that they had exceeded their goal of 30 Million US dollars, and the tally was closer to 60.

We drove to Santiago that night, with people waving flags from motorway overbridges, and every car with slogans written on them. We passed a convoy of trucks delivering supplies to the badly damaged South.

It was amazing. Something that made me feel a level of pride I had never felt in New Zealand.

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