Mexico's earthquake left the nation reeling in devastation.

The 7.1 magnitude quake killed at least 344 people, inflicted $2 billion of damage, and may have left millions with life-long respiratory diseases.

People from all over the country and abroad rushed to help the central and southern region begin to piece itself back together, and to find survivors among the rubble, reports Daily Mail.

Among the volunteers in Mexico City was Eduardo Zarate, a 26-year-old man with a spinal cord injury which has left him confined to a wheelchair.


Nonetheless, he took to the streets with bags to collect the rubble, heaving it away to collection sites by holding it between his chin and shoulder.

And he even helped to rescue two people who were trapped under slabs of concrete.

Zarate, from Morelia in Michoacan, has been in a wheelchair for 11 years after injuring his spine.

He traveled to the capital after hearing one of his best friends was missing in the Del Valle neighborhood, which was one of the worst affected.

It transpired his friend had survived with minor injuries, but he stayed, and the pictures of him helping the clean-up went viral.

"We decided to stay," he told El Universal.

"I worked for 24 hours until my body couldn't do any more and I had to rest."

He worked with another volunteer, passing her his bags of rubble as he wheeled between the fallen buildings.


At one point his wheelchair got hit by a rock, he skidded over, and hurt his hand. But he got up and carried on.

Zarate was first spotted by a photographer called Jorge Zubillaga, who posted the image online.

Eduardo Zarate, 26, went to Mexico City to find his friend after the earthquake. Photo / Twitter
Eduardo Zarate, 26, went to Mexico City to find his friend after the earthquake. Photo / Twitter

Zubillaga captioned the picture: "The are no words to describe what I've seen these past few days, today more than ever it is an honor to be Mexican."

The photo quickly went viral.

Zarate insisted he deserves no more recognition than anyone else who rushed to help.

On Zarate's Twitter, his bio includes the famous words of Frida Kahlo, the revered Mexican painter who was crippled for most of her life: "Feet... why do I need them if I have wings to fly?"