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News - Youth For Understanding USA

Latest news about Youth for Understanding USA student exchange programs worldwide – Events – Partnerships.

YFU Family Mourns Loss Following Earthquake in Ecuador


YFU USA joins the entire YFU family in mourning the loss of Nene, an exchange student from Germany, and Familia Tixilema Lopez, who were hosting her, during the recent devastating earthquake in Ecuador. At YFU, we believe we are part of one special family that goes beyond borders and cultures because we believe in exchange, the brave young adults who each embark on their own life changing journeys, and the welcoming families who open up their hearts and homes to a young person. The entire YFU family is rallying in support of those most affected by this disaster.

YFU’s standing protocols of safety and care for all on-program students along with the family and friends of Nene and the Tixilema Lopez family have been initiated and at this point we ask each of you continue to hold this exceptional young girl, her natural family and host family in your hearts. Our deepest sympathies remain with Nene’s and Tixilema Lopez’s family and friends.

YFU is currently assessing the situation for the remaining students in the affected areas. At this point we know that all other students are safe with their host families, and we are in touch with them to evaluate their situation. As this natural disaster is highly impacting Ecuador and has severely damaged the infrastructure, we are also seeking advice from authorities on how to best continue with the YFU operations. For YFU, the safety and well-being of our students and families, as well as the impact on communities, are our top priority as we decide on the next steps.