North Central College - Naperville, IL

Santiago Resident Campaigns to Help Quake Victims in Chile

Josh Pilz 98, a resident of Santiago, Chile, has raised more than $5,000 for the earthquake relief effort in Chile. His goal is to raise $10,000 to benefit relief support through two charities. He also joined on-site relief efforts in the cities of Retiro and Copihue, Chile, which are located in the most affected region. He was part of a larger group helping to demolish damaged homes so rebuilding could begin.

On Feb. 27, Chile was struck by an 8.8 mega earthquake and tsunami, followed by more than 200 aftershocks. It was the fifth biggest earthquake in recorded history and about 2 million residents of Chile were seriously affected, about 12 percent of the population. “Current estimates are that the recovery process could take up to seven years,” Pilz says.

“Just two weeks after the earthquake, it was startling to see that headlines about Chile were disappearing from the world news,” he continues. “We’re still very concerned that the same global outpouring of support for Haiti’s disaster relief effort is not being duplicated in Chile.”

A Spanish and political science major at North Central, Pilz has lived in Santiago for five years. He obtained his master’s degree in Spanish literature and linguistics from the University of Wisconsin in 2005. He was also selected for WorldTeach, Inc., operated by the Center for International Development at Harvard University. Through this program, he completed assignments as a volunteer English teacher and summer program director in Quito, Ecuador, and then as a national field director in Santiago. Today Pilz works for Instituto Chileno Norteamericano as an educational evaluator and serves on the organization’s board of directors. He also teaches English and Spanish and offers translation services.

To learn more about Chile relief efforts, contact Pilz at or visit his Chile Relief Challenge blog at

North Central NOW Spring 2010