In light of the catastrophic earthquake that killed over 500 Ecuadorian natives, as well as Japan’s twin earthquakes that caused a massive landslide, Mayors Felix Roque and Nick Sacco led a candlelight ceremony in West New York for those victims.
At least,100 people attended the vigil at West New York’s Donnelly Park to show their support last night by chanting “Si se puede,” which means “yes I can,” to helping those who lost their lives.
â€œI thank Dr. Roque, Mayor Roque. He took the leadership of pulling all of us together and if we stay together we can make life better. So weâ€™re here as a community, one community as the United States with the entire world and now focusing on helping and aiding Ecuador,” said North Bergen’s Sacco, also a state Senator (D-32).
Speaking with Hudson County View after the event, Roque explained how the candles represented the victims who died from the crumbling infrastructure in Ecuador and families who were effected.
â€œThe main purpose was to show solidarity with the people of Ecuador. With those family members, brothers and sisters, brothers and fathers, that passed away. How people lost their life in a senseless way after a tragedy and not only did we do it for Ecuador, we also did it for the victims in the earthquake in Japan.”
“So weâ€™re just to tell them that here in West New York we care, we honor them, and show respect by being here,” he added.
Roque plans to travel to Ecuador on Friday, April 22nd to assess and document the necessities of the patients in local hospitals and regional shelters.
â€œOnce I do that, weâ€™re going to document everything and come back and weâ€™ll be able to provide our medical assistance â€“ whether itâ€™s orthopedics, whether itâ€™s spine surgery, hip or knees or neurosurgeons. Whatever they need, weâ€™re going to be able to provide,â€ said Roque.
In February, Roque received news coverage from around the globe for his “Ruta de Roque” effort to save Cuban refugees, telling us that Syria would likely be his next priority.
The Town of West New York plans to accept perishable and non-perishable donations at Roque’s Pain Relief Center on 211 60th St., West New York.
For monetary donations, Commissioner CosmoÂ Cirillo suggested to contact the American Red Cross, while Town spokeswoman Natalia Novas noted she is donating to the cause through the North Hudson Rotary Club.
Cirillo suggested for residents to reach out to the Town of West New York with information regarding family members in Ecuador in order to accommodate their needs.
â€œMy recommendation for anyone who have effected family members is to reach out to town hall and let us know what the need is and weâ€™ll do anything we can to accommodate those families,” said Cirillo.
â€œAs you saw tonight, the mayor has pledged his support, along with the board of commissioners, to do everything we can to offer anything we can to those in need.”