A social project initiated by MK Illumination for victims of the 2017 earthquake in Mexico
In September 2017, the strongest earthquake to hit Mexico in a century destroyed buildings and infrastructure, injured countless people and claimed the lives of at least 216 people in Mexico City alone.
Guerrero, Oaxaca and Chiapas were three of the neighbouring states clustered around the epicenter and were severely affected, with some reports indicating that in Chiapas alone, one million people in 15 districts were directly affected by the quake, 50,000 houses were destroyed and more than 1,000 schools were closed and education disrupted. A state of emergency was declared in 122 communities in the region.
José Alberto Vargas, the branch manager for MK Illumination Mexico, reached out to MK Illumination’s head office to see if a spontaneous relief operation was possible. The response was overwhelming, with MK Illumination’s worldwide subsidiaries offering donations and support to bring light back to the region.
The Edison Garden
Funds raised will be invested back into the local community in the form of a social project called “The Edison Garden”. The vision is to create a cultural center where children and young people can find a safe haven away from the streets where they can develop their interests and skills or simply spend time working on art projects, participating in sports or contributing to the community gardening activities.
“Through the community center we hope to help the children, giving them access to new perspectives, and we plan do this by connecting them with sport and culture within the centre. We want to involve the community, too, and that means that we want to invite elders of the community to come to the center and teach the children and contribute their skills and wisdom long-term.” – Thomas Mark, President of MK Illumination, in an interview with Radio Tirol.
Mexican Ambassador to Austria visits MK Illumination
Mexican ambassador Alicia Buenrostro Massieu traveled to Innsbruck from Vienna to meet with the owners of MK Illumination, the Mark family, to thank them for their rapid and ongoing support in Mexico following the earthquake.
“To make this initiative happen, we need the support of the politicians. If we don’t get this right, it’s possible that someone will come along at some point and say: ‘We don’t really want this initiative to go ahead’, and that will be the end of it. That’s why it’s important that we meet with the Mexican ambassador, to get her help in finding the right contacts, so that we can develop the project idea in a way that ensures its viability long-term.” – Thomas Mark, President of MK Illumination, in an interview with Radio Tirol.
The initiative is currently under discussion by politicians and communities in Mexico, and we look forward sharing further details about this innovative social initiative in the coming months.