Yes. There is an image of a dog with a sword, and I’m about to explain to you why.
Disclaimer: If you don’t want to read detailed strong notes about HEMA in Mexico and the earthquake, please jump to the title “Now…. About the dog”
On September 19th, Esfinges did something that has absolutely nothing to do with HEMA, we set a donation for the victims suffering on the earthquakes of 8.3 and 7.1 that has taken over 400 lives (and counting). There were 3 reasons for this:
First, because helping is a human thing to do.
Second, because Esfinges born in Mexico and that give us an instant attach and care for it
Third, because of every Mexican HEMA soul in there, was at risk, and once that risk of being eat by a falling building, they became heroes.
And so I’m about to tell you the story of how HEMA in Mexico drop the swords for several days and went to aid. (For matters of privacy I will not mention any names)
Mexico City, being one of the largest cities in the world, also concentrates the largest population of HEMA groups and practitioners. This means that mathematically speaking there was a 100% chance any of them were close to the falling buildings. And Puebla, while with a smaller population, was so damaged, the odds of being affected were very high too.
The house of one of them was in the same block of one of the falling buildings.
One of them reported the full loss of the house of one of her family members.
One ex-HEMA guy reported the full loss of his house.
At least 2 of them are presenting symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
One of them opened his family psychology center to treat for free the people suffering for PTSD and other disorders due to the trauma.
Several of them organized and are currently still running programs to gather aid, transport it and deliver it to the areas in need, by truck, by car, by bike, even by boat.
Several of them work non-stop from day 1 to rescue people, watching the joy of saving them, and the pain of not making it on time.
At least 1 of them has survivor guilt.
One club decided to meet as they usually do for training, to then go as a group to volunteer where ever was needed
While a few of them had to go back to work to provide to their families, many of them are still taking their free time to volunteer on the removal of buildings and rescuing people (giving the conditions, there are records of people surviving up to 10 days inside the fallen buildings) help send aid, amongst many other reconstruction activities.
Reading the news feed of many of them was heartbreaking, speaking how people fainted over exhausting themselves trying to help, talking about how they felt reaching a kid and looking at him deprived of his life and future.
This is what HEMA was in Mexico since the earthquakes, flooding, and other natural disasters.
This is why it was the most HEMA thing for Esfinges to do was to help
This is why we owe more than just a “thank you” to anyone who helped us during this donation (which is still obtaining founds!)
I want to finish this by quoting the post from a HEMA practitioner in the rescues
“There was no time for sleep this week. There was no time to rest, to play, to read; there was no time for fencing. There was no time for any other form of love but this one. Every minute was counting to save one more life. And all these people, from the youngest to the stubborn and transparent-eyed old ones, all of us, in the end, embraced a savage loyalty to the buried ones. A loyalty to those remaining under the ruins and who were unknown to most of us”