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PHOTOSTORY: Valparaíso Fire Cerro Ram...
Chile, Valparaíso
By Zachary F. Volkert
14 Apr 2014

"When these catastrophes happen, they’re always making promises," said Sarah Carquím (left), who had recently added a second story to the house that she lost in the fire where she raised her family for more than 30 years. Behind her is the group of tents where her family will live until they raise enough money to build another home.

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PHOTOSTORY: Valparaíso Fire Cerro Ram...
Chile, Valparaíso
By Zachary F. Volkert
14 Apr 2014

"There's no other way to approach it but with a good attitude," Carquím said. "It's all that we have left now. That, and the memories."

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PHOTOSTORY: Valparaíso Fire Cerro Ram...
Chile, Valparaíso
By Zachary F. Volkert
14 Apr 2014

From the Civil Guard to the Armed Forces, Chilean governmental forces walked the smoky haze of the area on the Tuesday morning after the fire was extinguished.

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PHOTOSTORY: Valparaíso Fire Cerro Ram...
Chile, Valparaíso
By Zachary F. Volkert
14 Apr 2014

Not a green leaf remains on the trees of Cerro Ramaditas, now a blackened version of bright graffiti-covered city of the coastal city.

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PHOTOSTORY: Valparaíso Fire Cerro Ram...
Chile, Valparaíso
By Zachary F. Volkert
14 Apr 2014

Alicia, a resident of the hillside community for more than 30 years, walks to her neighbor's bathroom here.

“Everything, everything, everything,” Alicia said. “It’s pure ashes now. There’s nothing left. Not even a peso.”

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PHOTOSTORY: Valparaíso Fire Cerro Ram...
Chile, Valparaíso
By Zachary F. Volkert
14 Apr 2014

A blaze that struck the vibrant port city killed 15 and left nearly 11,000 homeless according to government estimates.

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PHOTOSTORY: Valparaíso Fire Cerro Ram...
Chile, Valparaíso
By Zachary F. Volkert
14 Apr 2014

Even dogs roam the streets on this dawn, lost in the scent of smoke.

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PHOTOSTORY: Valparaíso Fire Cerro Ram...
By Zachary F. Volkert
14 Apr 2014

But how soon these families will be able to recover still remains to be seen.

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PHOTOSTORY: Vets rush to save burned ...
By Zachary F. Volkert
14 Apr 2014

While many of the pets were brought in by owners, the small entrance to the emergency veterinary shelter was largely crowded by strangers bringing in wounded animals that they found in the streets.

Here, a dog waits for surgery on its burnt tail and paws.

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PHOTOSTORY: Vets rush to save burned ...
Chile, Valparaíso
By Zachary F. Volkert
14 Apr 2014

Below, a dog sleeps on newspapers breaking the story of the fire that took his home.

Shelters for people who have been affected have also sprung up all over the city, servicing thousands of people, many whom lost everything in the fire – but those volunteering at the animal shelter noted how important it was to reach out to animals as well.

“There are people who help other people,” Leo said. “But we also need to worry about the the other souls in the world – animals.”

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Valparaíso Fire Emergency Animal Shel...
Chile, Valparaíso
By Transterra Editor
14 Apr 2014

A cat with burned paws receives emergency surgery at the medical center

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PHOTOSTORY: Vets rush to save burned ...
Chile, Valparaíso
By Zachary F. Volkert
14 Apr 2014

A makeshift animal hospital is one many centers sent up throughout the bright, graffiti-covered coastal city of Valparaíso, Chile. Victims of the fire who lost their homes are now either living in the dormitory-style shelters or in tents on top of the ashes of their former homes. Although the government estimates only 15 deaths from the disaster, more than 11,000 have been left homeless.

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PHOTOSTORY: Vets rush to save burned ...
Chile, Valparaíso
By Zachary F. Volkert
14 Apr 2014

For the pets who have not been reclaimed by their owners, local animal lovers have lined up to adopt them. Leo and Ana Molina, a local couple, had been at the shelter every day since the fire broke out caring for animals.

“I have 30 dogs, all of which I’ve taken in from the street,” Ana said. “But I’m taking three of them [from the shelter] home with me today.”

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Valparaíso Fire Emergency Animal Shel...
Chile, Valparaíso
By Transterra Editor
14 Apr 2014

A sleeping golden retriever puppy arrives to facility for much-need care

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PHOTOSTORY: Valparaíso Fire Cerro Ram...
Chile, Valparaíso
By Zachary F. Volkert
14 Apr 2014

"But a week will go by," said Carquím. "And the same thing always happens – there’s no help, there’s nothing. They have a lot of promises to fulfill right now.”

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PHOTOSTORY: Valparaíso Fire Cerro Ram...
Chile, Valparaíso
By Zachary F. Volkert
14 Apr 2014

Piles of toilet paper and other supplies also line the roads of burnt community. Other neighbors use the bathrooms of neighbors lucky enough to still have them standing.

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Valparaíso Fire Emergency Animal Shel...
Chile, Valparaíso
By Transterra Editor
14 Apr 2014

A vet muzzles an animal with rope to hold him tranquil as other hands work to save its life

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PHOTOSTORY: Vets rush to save burned ...
Chille, Valparaíso
By Zachary F. Volkert
14 Apr 2014

The fire came only two weeks following an earthquake in north of the country, where many of the volunteers at the animal hospital had been only days earlier.

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PHOTOSTORY: Vets rush to save burned ...
By Zachary F. Volkert
14 Apr 2014

Lucas Gacés, a young student veterinarian provided emergency care at the shelter for several days.

"We're seeing a lot of burns, and a lot of animals whose house fell down on top of them,” Garcés said. "Most of the animals have burns over 80 to 90% of their bodies."

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PHOTOSTORY: Vets rush to save burned ...
Chile,Valparaíso
By Zachary F. Volkert
14 Apr 2014

Many of those who brought animals stayed, volunteering to embrace wounded animals on the floors of the cages where they slept.

Here, a dog with the name "Laura" written in green marker across a piece of athletic tape of its forehead, is fed by a local volunteer.

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Valparaíso Fire Emergency Animal Shel...
Chile, Valparaíso
By Transterra Editor
14 Apr 2014

A vet holds a wounded puppy brought in by strangers who found it in the street.

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PHOTOSTORY: Vets rush to save burned ...
Chile, Valparaíso
By Zachary F. Volkert
14 Apr 2014

Fundación Stuka, an organization founded to aid the thousands of animals injured in the massive Chilean earthquake in 2010, was one of the core suppliers of vets and medicine to the makeshift animal hospital.

"The majority of the animals came running out the hills [that were on fire] by themselves," said Fernanda Solari, the foundation's organizing director. "But a lot of our work was in situ care on with owners who did not want to abandon their dogs as they fled their houses."

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PHOTOSTORY: Vets rush to save burned ...
Chile, Valparaíso
By Zachary F. Volkert
13 Apr 2014

Lucas Gacés, a young student veterinarian provided emergency care at the shelter for several days.

"We're seeing a lot of burns, and a lot of animals whose house fell down on top of them,” Garcés said. "Most of the animals have burns over 80 to 90% of their bodies."

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Valparaíso Fire Emergency Animal Shel...
Chile, Valparaíso
By Transterra Editor
13 Apr 2014

A dog with the name "Laura" written in green marker on a piece of athletic tape across her forehead is fed by an emergency vet.

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Valparaíso Fire Emergency Animal Shel...
Chile, Valparaíso
By Transterra Editor
13 Apr 2014

Rows of cages separate animals, notes pinned on their bars describing their age, sex, name and injury

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Valparaíso Fire Emergency Animal Shel...
Chile, Valparaíso
By Transterra Editor
13 Apr 2014

Dozens of makeshift cages fill a a vacant schoolhouse, interspersed with tables to perform emergency medical care on the animals.

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Another Sky: An Uruguayan journey 23
Montevideo, Uruguay
By Francesco Pistilli
08 Feb 2014

Three Spanish workers arrive at Dolce Vita Hostel in Montevideo. They have come to Uruguay for 6 months of temporary work. They left their families in Spain after the financial crisis to take on temporary jobs around the world.

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Another Sky: An Uruguayan journey 11
Del humedal, Montevideo 12600, Uruguay
By Francesco Pistilli
04 Feb 2014

Aniceto, his daughter Andrea and his grandchildren pose in a small fishing village called Santiago Vasquez just 30 minutes from Montevideo. Aniceto's family is part of the Afro-Uruguayan community (more then 10% of Uruguay's population). Andrea is a medium who practices Umbanda an Afro-Brazilian religion originating in Nigeria and Benin that blends African religion with Catholicism, Spiritism, black magic and indigenous lore. Umbanda has spread across southern Brazil and parts of neighboring countries like Uruguay and Argentina.

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Another Sky: An Uruguayan journey 17
Santiago Vasquez, Uruguay
By Francesco Pistilli
04 Feb 2014

Andrea is a medium who practices Umbanda, a syncretic religion that incorporates Catholicism, spiritism from African religions and Indigenous lore.

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Another Sky: An Uruguayan journey 18
Del humedal, Montevideo 12600, Uruguay
By Francesco Pistilli
04 Feb 2014

Franco's family is part of the Afro-Uruguayan community that makes up more then 10% of Uruguay's population. One third of this community live in Montevideo.

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Another Sky: An Uruguayan journey 15
1, Santiago Vazquez, Uruguay
By Francesco Pistilli
04 Feb 2014

A family has a picnic beneath the bridge in the capital's outskirts. In Montevideo the most popular forms of relaxation are family trips to the Atlantic beaches or picnics in the countryside, where they roast meat over open fires and drink beers.

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Another Sky: An Uruguayan journey 20
Senda Peatonal Rambla, Montevideo 11200, Uruguay
By Francesco Pistilli
01 Feb 2014

A woman carries an idol of Yemanja at Playa Ramirez, Montevideo. On February 2nd of each year, thousands walk from the beaches to the sea to honor Yemanja, Goddess of the Sea. Yemanja is an Orisha, representing the ocean and is believed the essence of motherhood and a fierce protector of children.

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Another Sky: An Uruguayan journey 02
Brigadier General Fructuoso Rivera, Uruguay
By Francesco Pistilli
30 Jan 2014

The sun sets over a cattle farm. Uruguay was founded on cattle industry, and is one of the world's biggest "meat economies" with 3 cows per person, so roughly 9 million cattle. It comes as no surprise that 75% of the country's exports are agriculture related.

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Another Sky: An Uruguayan journey 04
Brigadier General Fructuoso Rivera, Curtina 45002, Uruguay
By Francesco Pistilli
30 Jan 2014

Route 5 from Montevideo to Tacuarembo. In rural Uruguay almost 100 thousand people (gauchos, laborers and farmers) share the environment with animals. Their cattle and horses are raised in the open air, under natural conditions with a mild climate, fertile land and abundant water.

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Another Sky: An Uruguayan journey 05
Curtina, Uruguay
By Francesco Pistilli
30 Jan 2014

Two Uruguayan gauchos, father and son, are build their new family-home at Curtina, a rural village located deep in the Uruguayan countryside. However, the majority of the country's population (approximately 80%) live in urban areas, mostly in Montevideo.

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Another Sky: An Uruguayan journey 07
Brigadier General Fructuoso Rivera, Uruguay
By Francesco Pistilli
30 Jan 2014

An abandoned bus sits alongside route 5 between Tacuarembo with Montevideo. The national route, passing clear across the country, is one of the most important highways for the meat economy in Uruguay.

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Another Sky: An Uruguayan journey 16
Curtina, Uruguay
By Francesco Pistilli
30 Jan 2014

V. (41) works in a small rural bakery near Tacuarembo. She is proud of her daughter who works for an International Company. "Luckly, my daughter will be able to travel around the world, discovering places and beauty, far from this rural reality!" she said.

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Another Sky: An Uruguayan journey 03
Curtina, Uruguay
By Francesco Pistilli
29 Jan 2014

Robert Da Silva is a Gaucho, storyteller and researcher on rural education. He started to study Uruguayan traditions and rural anthropology after 30 years as Gaucho, working with cattle and horses. With the help of his friend and anthropologist Mr. Diaz, Robert wrote two books on rural legends and traditions. Nowadays he is a trainer in several "Escuelas rurales," or rural schools.