Just a month ago, telenovela and theater actor Roberto Manrique was on the road promoting his new movie, Translúcido. But when the northwestern coast of his native Ecuador was hit by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake, he dropped everything to spring into action. Following the devastating natural disaster, the Guayaquil-born star put his work on hold and headed to San Vicente, Manabí to raise awareness and money for those affected, according to Ecuavisa.
Manrique didn’t know the full extent of the damage when he decided to go, according to a 13-minute interview with Ecuavisa, but he felt compelled to help any way he could. He joined a fleet of volunteer trucks and vans – organized by activist Karla Morales – to drive water, medicine, and other supplies and donations to the affected areas. Since then, the death toll from the earthquake has risen to 659 people and counting, with over 27,000 injured. Manrique has spent these intervening weeks traveling the coast to help however he can, uploading videos to his Facebook Fanpage – which has nearly 1.5 million likes –that chronicle the situation on the ground, and disseminating information about where his fans can donate their time, money and resources to help. He’s also been involved in mobilizing doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to affected zones, where damage to hospitals and roads have prevented many from getting the medical care they need.
Speaking on rebuilding efforts, he said, “I think we can have better cities, so that it’s not just three trucks and done. This is the moment to reinvent ourselves as a country.” Manrique is raising money for Kahre.org and Saving Ecuador. He will donate 100 percent of the proceeds from sales of his Soul by Roberto Manrique fragrance to Saving Ecuador.
While he plans to make another trip to San Vincente soon, in the meantime, he is using his Facebook account to keep his more than 1 million followers updated on the ways they can help. Check out a few posts below: