Cuba joined a long list of Latin American countries lending assistance to Ecuador on Monday by deploying a team of 53 health and rescue specialists to treat victims wounded in the devastating 7.8 earthquake that struck the Andean nation Saturday, killing at least 350 people and injuring thousands more.
The most recent contribution from the Cuban government is in addition to the 600 medics already stationed throughout the country who provide permanent health services to Ecuadorean citizens.
Medical workers are often believed to be Cuba's most important export, having served in countries all over the world and in particular in Latin America, Africa and, more recently in Oceania.
Since Saturday, disaster relief and medical teams from Venezuela, Mexico, Cuba, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Chile and El Salvador have also arrived in Ecuador bringing with them much needed supplies for search and rescue missions.
The U.N. praised the cooperation efforts on Monday between Ecuadorean and international authorities whom have worked tirelessly to provide humanitarian assistance to those impacted by the quake.
Meanwhile, in recent days several regional leaders including the heads of state from Bolivia and Venezuela have issued public statements expressing their solidarity with the victims of the Ecuadorean earthquake.
“We are sure that the unity and solidarity of the Ecuadorean people will allow your country to overcome these painful times,” Bolivian president Evo Morales wrote in a signed letter addressed to his Ecuadorean counterpart.