On October 23, Hector Mendéz, president and founder of Topos México, the elite search and rescue team, was in flood-weary Veracruz, helping to unite relief efforts there. On his official Topos rescue jumpsuit he proudly sported a recently added Scientology Volunteer Ministers badge.
“Topos,” which means “moles” in English, is the name the public has affectionately bestowed upon the members of this tough organization of veteran rescue workers now known worldwide for their dedication and competence. The organization first developed following a magnitude 8.2 earthquake that shook México City on September 19, 1985, resulting in upwards of 10,000 people dead and another 100,000 homeless.
Mendéz explained, “It was then that I and a small group of concerned citizens began doing whatever we could to save as many lives as possible from within the collapsed structures. We were going deep into the most dangerous places and getting as many people out as possible—people that would otherwise be forgotten. We have done such work in practically every major disaster in the world since then—full time, nonstop.”
At the end of August, Mendéz announced that the members of Topos had formed an alliance with the Volunteer Ministers (VMs) whom they worked with side-by-side in Haiti this year. “We received assistance and help like no other group ever gave us in all our years of service,” said Mendéz. “It was truly a yellow bolt of hope that kept us strong and going through the different tasks we performed in that devastated nation.”
Topos will be training VMs in highly specialized search and rescue techniques. In exchange, Mendéz said, “We would also like to be trained in the Volunteer Minister technology as discovered by L. Ron Hubbard. It has truly been an honor to work with such a humanitarian group as the Church of Scientology Volunteer Ministers in Haiti…where we realized that there is indeed another group that fully agrees with the goals and purposes of Topos México.… Just like the Scientology Volunteer Ministers, we know that hope is the most important thing to keep alive. We are certain that no matter how big the disaster is, ‘Something can be done about it.’”
Plans are now underway to send Topos and VMs to Indonesia to assist the victims of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes there. Updates will be available as soon as they establish a base of operations in that area.