Colorado Ethiopians come together for family of 6-year-old killed at amusement park


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) — When the Colorado Ethiopian Community learned that one of their own, 6-year-old Wongel Estifanos, had died in a tragic accident at a Glenwood Springs amusement park, they immediately came together.

The Ethiopian community in Colorado Springs is small but very tight-knit.

Daniel Abdella, with the Colorado Ethiopian Community organization, said he visited with the family last night.

“Oh, it’s devastating for them. They are shocked, you know. An unexpected tragedy for them. They are young people. It is really sad. I see the dad and the family. All the community has broken hearts,” Abdella said.

Estifanos was killed on the Haunted Mine Drop at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park earlier this week.

We are told she was on a family vacation when the unthinkable happened.

Wongel Estifanos, 6, was killed at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs.

‘When your kids go away from you, you can’t let it go easily’

Samuel Gebremichael, chair of the Colorado Ethiopian Community organization, said he has met the family in the past.

“It’s hard to comfort them. They lost the best thing that they have. When your kids go away from you, you can’t let it go easily,” Gebremichael said.

Gebremichael said the Ethiopian community in Colorado is tight-knit. Many families have migrated here for nearly 30 years.

When tragedies strike, they comfort families through a thousand-year-old tradition called Edir.

“So what they do is we collect money every time to help,” Abdella said.

The family and friends will now mourn together for at least three to four days.

We are told the family needs prayers most after losing a beloved child so unexpectedly.

So many of these families, thousands of miles from Ethiopia, are now finding comfort in each other.

On Thursday, there were many people at Estifano’s home. An uncle told us the family is not ready to talk at this time.

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