Photos in this article are courtesy of GIA.
In September 2017, two major earthquakes shook Mexico. The damage in Salina Cruz on the Pacific Coast of Oaxaca included destruction of the city’s market, a major economic and social hub for the area.
As the region began its recovery efforts, GIA, a design, construction and infrastructure concessions real estate development and energy company, stepped in and took on responsibility for rebuilding the market. GIA and Kiewit have worked together in Mexico since Kiewit began to set up operations in Mexico three and a half years ago.
“The Salina Cruz Market was chosen because it is the second most important market in Oaxaca and more than 2,000 people depend on that,” said Fundacion GIA Director of Business Development Antonio Casillas. “This market is also the logistic, distribution, and supply center of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.”
GIA engineers visited the site a few days after the earthquake. With information about the needs of the market’s tenants in hand, they organized a plan to remove the rubble and build a new market in its place. To assist them with the work, Fundacion GIA reached out to business partners, including Kiewit, for support. It was a request Kiewit was happy to fill.
“Last September’s earthquakes were really devastating for a lot of people in Mexico. Fortunately, none of Kiewit’s personnel or offices were significantly impacted by the earthquakes, but Kiewit still wanted to find a good way to help those people that had been hit the hardest,” said Kiewit Mexico’s Vice President, Michael Ross. “Fortunately GIA was quick to identify a way to help to the people of Salina Cruz and asked Kiewit to join them in the rebuilding efforts.”
Repairs to the market began just a month after the earthquakes occurred in October of 2017, and were completed in July of 2018. In August, a celebration commemorated the market’s reopening. Antonio Casillas noted it was a special moment for Fundacion GIA and its partners.
“Part of the main objectives of Fundacion GIA is the commitment to our society,” said Antonio Casillas. “We are very proud on serving this community after this tragedy. The reconstruction of Salina Cruz Market could not be possible without the support of the partners of Fundacion GIA, including Kiewit, Fideicomiso Fuerza Mexico, Fundacion Holcim Mexico, Cemex, Aceromex, Collado, Unicorp, Helvex, Ruhrpumpen, Vitromex and Ingenieria y Constructores Gabe.”
Ross acknowledged GIA’s leadership role in seeing the rebuilding effort through.
“The work accomplished in Salina Cruz, mostly by GIA, will make a big difference to the people that depend on the market for their livelihood,” said Ross. “The market rebuilding effort orchestrated by GIA says a lot about the quality and character of the GIA organization and I’m very pleased that Kiewit was able to participate.”