When an earthquake struck Mexico on September 19, Andrés Azpiri – a reporter and Radio Ambulante sound designer – first worried about his family. But once he learned they were all fine and knew that the damage was widespread, he – like others in Coayacán and across the country – knew he needed to do something. “A voice inside my head was saying: ‘Don’t go. It’s dark, it could be dangerous, because of insecurity, but also because there could be another collapse or something,'” he said. “But the need to go, to do something, was overwhelming, you know?”

He headed outside and saw many young people removing rubble and providing water and food to those affected. While Andrés wanted to help, there were just too many volunteers at the scene. They told him he should wait for the next shift to help. What Andrés witnessed in person is what many of us saw online. As soon as the natural disaster devastated the country, images began pouring in of people working together to rescue their fellow Mexicans. Even Diego Luna remarked recently on Conan that he saw people running toward tumbling building. “Everyone is helping everyone,” he said. “It’s the Mexico I feel proud being part of.”

Andrés did end up going home and returning to help. This time he brought shovels to remove debris. Once again, there were too many volunteers. He returned the next day, and was met with more people working meticulously to find survivors. “I felt a bit frustrated, thinking, ‘they don’t need any more hands at the moment, but i have to do something,'” he said. “So I decided to take out my iPhone and see if I could find people willing to talk, you know? And that’s when I met Rogelio.”

The almost 30-minute interview pays tribute to those like Rogelio, who worked tirelessly to save others immediately after the earthquake. Check it out below: