SAN JOSE, Calif. (Azenith Smith/KTVU) - Hundreds of people gathered in San Jose Wednesday night for a prayer vigil for the victims of the earthquake in Mexico. The vigil was held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church where community members had a message of support and solidarity.
The church’s doors will remain open until midnight for community members to come and pray. With parts of Mexico left in shambles, many people are looking for healing and asking how they can help.
Community members held their hands up united in prayer. Special intentions went toward the victims from the earthquake in Mexico. At this time, they said, it’s their faith they need the most.
“At a time like this we can only go to God for any consolation and any response we feel powerless,” said Ricardo Arriagada of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.
For 14-year-old Adriana Gonzalez Torres, she's worried about family members who live near Mexico City. She shared a picture of the only church in their town that’s now ruined.
“Right now I’m feeling anxious and scared because I haven't heard from my cousins or aunts so I don't know what's happening to them,” said Torres.
“They lost their history,” said Idania Barousse of San Jose. “Their heritage and pretty much their homes everything they worked so hard for, for generations. This is really sad.”
In uncertain times, they're all hoping prayers will help. The church is also collecting donations to send to Catholic Relief Services. They're not alone.
“As we do represent a natural disaster with our team name we want to make sure we can give back,” said Marissa Silver of the San Jose Earthquakes.
The San Jose Earthquakes is accepting donations through its web site www.quakes74.gesture.com
At next Wednesday’s match they'll have a raffle, matching funds as well. Last February, the team raised $40,000 for the victims of San Jose’s flooding. The team's goal is to do the same for Mexico.
“We know we have a lot of families with Mexican heritage in San Jose so we know they are just as much impacted by the families are there so we wanted to do what we could to support the devastation in Mexico,” said Silver.
Outside the Mexican Consulate in San Jose, the flag flies at half-staff.
“The assessment is worse than we first thought, there are many buildings down,” said Deputy Consul General Jazmin Amezcua.
The focus now is on relief efforts. The office said the best way to help is to donate through the Mexican Red Cross. https://cruzrojadonaciones.org
“Everybody's helping by the means anyone can,” said Amezcua. “That solidarity that we are showing now, it's amazing. It brings hope.”
With damage still being assessed, it could take the country years to rebuild. Starting Thursday through Saturday, Our Lady of Guadalupe church in San Jose will remain open 24 hours.