Cards help earthquake victims

Posted by Darren Urban on April 20, 2010 – 11:36 am

Draft topics swirl, but a pair of Cardinals employees that hail from Mexico have some other things on their minds.

Luis Zendejas, the senior director of community relations, and Rolando Cantu, manager of international business ventures, went on a mercy mission of sorts recently to San Luis, a remote Mexican farming community near Mexicali – and an area brutally ravaged by the earthquake on Easter Sunday.

The area, responsible for 30 percent of Mexico’s wheat production, found itself flooded and ripped apart by the 7.2 quake. Cantu said there had been about 900 smaller earthquakes registered in the week before the large one hit. When the big one did arrive, it burst the natural water wells and irrigation ditches, not only ruining the crops but setting the area back years. “There’s no way this area can be fixed in the next seven to 10 years,” Cantu said.

Some 1,400 people – mainly women, children and the elderly – found their way to a nearby mountaintop plateau where makeshift tents serve as housing. Cantu said the spot is so remote even the Mexican government doesn’t know the extent of the problem (he learned about it through a friend who works in the Mexican agricultural business).

“I wanted to open up some eyes, even on the Mexican side,” Zendejas said.

The two drove to the spot and delivered blankets and Cardinals gear for the displaced residents. They gave out Gatorade and basic necessities – paper plates, plastic utensils, toilet paper – that is so hard to get. Zendejas said a set of paper plates for nine people will last two to three months, because the Mexicans will use some plastic over the top while eating to save the plates.

“These people were grateful we showed up,” Cantu said. “I wish more organizations would show up. In essence, we are three-and-a-half hours from another Little Haiti and people don’t know that.”

Cantu felt the earthquake first-hand. He was at his in-laws’ house in Mexicali on Easter. “I think it lasted 14 or 15 seconds and three of those seconds were really getting out of hand,” Cantu said. “You don’t know the sounds things make when they are moving and that’s what gets to you. You take things for granted. Whatever you work for, in two or three seconds it could be demolished.”

Cantu’s family was OK. But 50 miles away, the people of San Luis weren’t, and at that point, Cantu didn’t even know about them.

“Right now, it’s a big help for them,” Cantu said.

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Posted in Blog | 12 Comments »

12 Responses to “Cards help earthquake victims”

  1. By k. on Apr 20, 2010 | Reply

    God Bless all those people! These earthquakes are getting out of hand. I’m glad to see the support from those withing the cardinals organization! I am proud to be a fan of such a fine team.

  2. By Patrick on Apr 20, 2010 | Reply

    Wow. Tears. Great guys.

  3. By Chad D on Apr 20, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, I just wanted to thank you for doing such a fine job with all you do. I know we have it good as Cards fans, and we have you to thank for most of it. Your work has helped us stay connected in the dark days of the off-season. I know you have to put up with a lot of “stuff” that many people don’t recognize, but you do so with grace and patience. I am amazed at your willingness to continue to build the site, even when you know it is better than other teams. Most would settle for being the best, but you are not that guy. I am sure you get your kuddo’s from other fans, but I figured it was my time to chime in and give you mine. Keep it up, you are appreciated.

  4. By darrenurban on Apr 20, 2010 | Reply

    Chad D —


  5. By NickSierraVista on Apr 20, 2010 | Reply

    When haters ask why I’m a fan, I always talk about things like this. The off the field stuff is what truely defines a franchise in my opinion. The on the field stuff allows for this to be more wide spread.

  6. By Maria Valenzuela Salazar on Apr 20, 2010 | Reply

    To the Cardinals, I thank you from the bottom of my heart in helping gout the people in San Luis Mexico. I am great fan of the team and know even more for helping out my community. I thank you from San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico for what you’re doing in Mexico. Go CARDENALES!!!!

  7. By Maria on Apr 20, 2010 | Reply

    I was in the earthquake , and it was horrible. Thanks Cardinals for all the support that you gave to Mexico, These people lost everything in seconds and they need this kind of help…

  8. By Rene Romero on Apr 20, 2010 | Reply

    Way da go guys , thanks so much for representing the Cardinals in such an awesome way. I am from Yuma , Az not far from Mexicali. With all the negativity about other players , you guys just showed that we are all human and must help one another no matter who we are. Way da go in representing the Cards. Way da help out , Go Cards!

  9. By Aitchem on Apr 20, 2010 | Reply

    Seriously, how can we help? Is there a special fund within Cardinals Charities that’s involved?

  10. By darrenurban on Apr 20, 2010 | Reply

    Aitchem —

    Unfortunately, there probably isn’t a way. I asked Rolando and Luis, and because of the red tape it takes to get through in Mexico, sending money down there will either take forever or never make it there in the first place. That’s one of the reasons they went themselves and didn’t just ship supplies down there.

    I do think they could make a return trip though, so if you want, you can contact Luis at and see if there is a way to help.

  11. By LE on Apr 20, 2010 | Reply

    I live in Yuma, AZ about 20 miles north of San Luis, R.C., Sonora. The Easter Sunday earthquake was crazy and knocked down some of my decoration plates on my wall. I’m proud of being a AZ CARDINAL fan and hearing about the 2 guys helping out down in Mex. Always good to hear about people helping each other out through crisis. VIVA LOS AZ CARDENALES!

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