UTPA's Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers donate $1,700 for flood disaster relief
Posted: 05/10/2000
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EDINBURG - The University of Texas-Pan American Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) recently donated more than $1,700 to the American Red Cross to aid in relief efforts for the Venezuelan flood disaster last December.

"We are doing what we can for the people of Venezuela," said SHPE President Salomon Martinez.

According to Martinez, the UTPA SHPE organization - in collaboration with the SHPE of Oklahoma - raised the funds through weekend barbecues.

"We spent all night barbequing chicken and getting prepared for the fund raising," Martinez said. "It was a lot of work, but it's something we really believe in."

Venezuelan authorities and civilians are still attempting to cope with what is considered to be the country's worst-ever natural disaster.

Rains brought massive flooding and destruction in the northern portion of the country Dec. 16, in the middle of the holiday season.

According to national news sources, the floodwaters caused avalanches of mud, burying coastal villages and towns, knocking out utilities and destroying most of the area's infrastructure.

The floods killed an estimated 30,000 people and caused billions of dollars in damage leaving up to 200,000 people homeless.

For more information on relief efforts, contact the American Red Cross at 956/787-7851 or for information on the SHPE organization; contact Dr. Edwin LeMaster, Director of the Engineering program at UTPA at 956/381-3522.