As most of you know, a magnitude 8.8 earthquake struck off the coast of Chile early Saturday morning. Daniel and I and the whole Evolve Chile crew extend our deepest sympathies to all Chileans, and to anyone affected by this natural disaster.

Over the last three days we’ve received hundreds of emails from Evolve Chile campers and families asking about the situation in Chile. We are relieved to report that all our friends, families and colleagues in the country are safe. Thanks to the fact that many of Chile’s buildings and infrastructure were built to withstand earthquakes, the preparation of its emergency response teams, and the strength of its people, a much larger crisis has been avoided.

At this time we still intend to run Evolve Chile this July and August. We anticipate that in the next five months conditions in most of the country will have returned to normal. However, over the next few weeks, we will speak to Canadian and American officials in Chile, monitor the news and, if necessary, make whatever itinerary changes are needed in order to run a safe Camp in 2010. Safety remains our number one priority.

Thousands of Chilean people rely on the ski and snowboard industries for their livelihood, and many families benefit greatly from the money Evolve spends in Chile every year. Additionally, we are proud to announce that this year Evolve will donate 5% of all the Camp fees for 2010 to local schools and charities.

For some time we have been planning a new community service program as part of our activities in Chile this summer.  This program is intended to aid local schools in the ski towns we visit. Of course, now more than ever, our help in these communities will be especially important and appreciated. Before Camp starts, you are encouraged to collect clothing to bring with you for donation while in Chile this summer. During Camp, campers and staff can participate in the community service programs that are being planned by Evolve.

Please continue to email us or call 416-619-4581 if you have any questions.

From Chile ’s national anthem: “Majestic is the white mountain”. We are hopeful it will be forever.

Thanks, Jeff Richmond