A magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck central and southern Mexico on September 19, 2017, killing nearly 400 people. In Puebla, Morelos and Mexico City, close to the earthquake’s epicenter, there was widespread damage to homes, schools, businesses, and public infrastructure. While the Government of Mexico has an incredibly high capacity to respond to disasters, international assistance was necessary to support a full recovery for all affected communities.

The earthquake left many buildings destroyed across the city, including this one in the Roma neighborhood of Mexico City. (Photo by Natasha Pizzey for Direct Relief)


Center for Disaster Philanthropy research identified several needs that exceed the capacity of government and local nongovernmental capacity including: housing, medical and mental health needs, and small business recovery.

Grantmaking Timeline

Approximately $300,000 was donated to the CDP Mexico Earthquake Recovery Fund.

May 2018 – Full fund distribution

Grant Committee

The grant committee for the Mexico Earthquake Recovery Fund includes:

Committee Chair: Lori J. Bertman, president and CEO of the Baton Rouge- based Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation. Lori is the co-founder and chairman of the board of CDP.

Aryah Somers Landsberger, Director of Programs, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees

Eliza Brennan, Program Officer, Education/Arts & Culture , International Community Foundation

Carlos E. Mejia, Humanitarian Change Goal Manager, Oxfam America Foundation

Bob Ottenhoff, President and CEO of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy


Mercy Corps received $150,000 to support economic recovery and growth of small businesses affected by the earthquake.

Fundación Hogares was awarded $74,819 to support local economic and neighborhood recovery in five specific neighborhoods in the Jujutla municipality of Mexico.

Habitat for Humanity Mexico received $95,183 to support home rebuild projects for 178 families in Puebla who are operating home-based businesses.

Fondo Acción Solidaria (FASOL) was awarded $19,000 for the creation of a cultural center that allows the community to benefit from meeting space, workshop implementation and cooperatively organized community space.

Take Action

For more information or for additional assistance, please contact:

Regine A. Webster
Vice President
(206) 972-0187