1:14 pm

The plan for September 19th, 2017 was to get organized and to be productive. After much dilly-dallying with my affairs, weekend escapades to paradise lands and loafing around, that Tuesday was to be devoted to completing long-avoided errands. By 1 pm, I made the decision that in 15 mins I would begin arranging after I showered. By 1:13 pm, I was in the bathroom, when I noticed a change in my vision. For many years, I have “suffered” from low blood pressure and mild dizziness is quotidian. The swaying rapidly gained force and in a slight second I realized, this isn’t a flaw in my circulation, but rather a grievous adjustment of the Earth. I held on tightly to the sink, calming myself by repeating the sole mantra I will never forget, “this will end soon,” concentrating on the small window drowning the shower in white light. I paled at the sight of the walls moving like elastic, back and forth like a slow-motion video of gelatin on a plate. Somewhat late, but just in time, my reflexes to remove myself from a potentially crumbling building kicked in, and I ran down the steps. Everything after those estimated eternal twenty seconds and the days that followed can only be described as a helplessly confusing and a dreadfully long nightmare. 

The screams.

The barking.

The sirens.

The anguish.

My brain attempting to conceptualize an inexperienced situation, while simultaneously regaining awareness of my limbs and entire anatomy. 

I felt nothing, I didn’t shake, I didn’t budge, I simply stood still and watched. As if I were wearing a virtual reality headset where everything around me was affected but I was ok. I was safe. 

I managed to communicate with my parents before all electricity and phone service was clogged by desperate cries.  

Me: “Hi, I’m calling to let you know there was an earthquake but I’m ok, I’m fine.” 

Dad: *Unaware of the recent happenings* “How? When? Where?”

Mom in the background: “Leave! Leave right now!”

While the conversation didn’t last long, it was enough. Shortly after I hung up, nearly all the phones, effortlessly connecting the globe through wisps of electricity in the air, sparked out in Mexico City. I wasn’t able to communicate with anyone for another eight hours. Which to those watching abroad, attentively waiting for a simple sign, can be inducing of anxiety and ill-imagined scenarios of the worst outcomes. 

I was safe. 

Even though where I am residing was the hardest hit neighborhood. Even though there were destroyed buildings a few streets down crushing bodies under suffocating debris. 

What followed is still an ever-evolving episode of tragedy, solidarity, and pure humanity.  

Pets were also heavily affected. Out of fear, many ran out of their owner’s grasp and have not been seen since. 
The massive influx of volunteers was incredibly shocking and immediate. So copious was the attendance, the Mexican Red Cross had to ask people to stop volunteering. 


Anyone and everyone jumped to the task of aiding in any way possible. The thought of helping was instantaneous. For a moment classism, race, gender, and ultimately insignificant differences society have developed simply dissolved. 



Announcements in the news, radio, social media and word of mouth of supplies needed were spread. These announcements were essential in permitting volunteers to donate foodstuffs, medical supplies, clothes, water, and tools for removing debris. 


All content was created by moi. 

Responses to “”

  1. Vicky.

    Todos estos momentos inesperados, llenos de angustia y de insertidumbre, plasmados por en un escrito que nos recuerda que la vida es ahora, una experiencia que te hace crecer y fortalecerte, hermoso y real Isa, gracias.

    1. isorozco

      Muchas gracias Vicky <3

  2. Donnie Graham

    Hi Isabelle… I just read this from September. I’m so glad you are/we’re safe. Ok, I’m not sure, but safe, yes! I will continue to enjoy your writing. I will continue to live through your adventures! I told you I would. 🤗

    1. isorozco

      Donnie it is so great to hear from you! Thank you for keeping up with my steps 🙂 It means a lot

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