Covid-19 Relief for Remote Peruvian Villages: Food Deliveries Have Been A Success!

posted by Cynthia Robinson on July 30th, 2020

As many of you know, Paititi Institute is taking care of a 4000 acre reserve in a remote Peruvian region bordering the Manu National Reserve. Surrounding our reserve there are eight native communities – Hualla, Suyo, Mendosayoc, Ichio, Pukara, Churuyoc, Yurachmayo, and Cuchuyoc, with about 500 families in total and up to 10 people in each family. We reached out to our global community to raise funds to provide essential food supplies to all families in these 8 communities during this challenging time and with all of your help our mission has been fulfilled!

One of Two trucks loaded to the brim with food supplies for remote villages!

Peru announced a state of emergency on March 15 with the arrival of Covid19, requiring mandatory quarantine for everyone in the country. All businesses except a very select few deemed essential have been forced to close, and transport has been restricted without special permits and all residents required to stay inside their homes. The strictly enforced quarantine has been extended 4 times, and there is no telling how much longer it will continue to be extended.

Our neighboring communities have been especially hard hit during this time. Supply lines have been cut for small farmers to transport their crops and those with jobs are out of work. Being one of the most impoverished regions in Peru, already under stress with the plummet of the local produce market, they are feeling the impact hardest with many of them starving. 

We saw this as a time for us to share what we can afford to support those in greatest need, and reached out for support from our extended global community, as every little bit helps. Our goal was to provide each family with at least one month of rations. The communities had asked us for very basic food supplies including  Rice, Oil, Lentils, Pasta, Sugar and preserves. Initially we aimed to support 205 families who are immediately neighbouring our center. To provide basic supplies  the food budget was estimated at s/41,000 Peruvian Soles ($12,000 USD). 

With the generous response from all of you, we exceeded our goal and were able to keep the campaign open. We exceeded our goal and were able to raise over $16,700 USD! This allowed us to aid 4 more communities of Suyo, Mendosayoc, Churuyoc, Yuracmayo.

We are happy to announce that the food deliveries have been a success and with your help we were able to provide food to over 500 families! While our calculations with the extra funds were now for 405 families we were able to get additional discounts for the bulk food order and also received some assistance with transport cargo trucks from the local municipalities of Lares and Challabamba which allowed us to support a lot more people than was originally planned. 

On Tuesday, July 7th the food purchases were completed and two massive cargo trucks were filled to the brim. One heading to Hualla, Suyo and Mendosayoc. The second heading to the other side of the valley servicing Ichio, Cuchuyoc, Pukara, Yuracmayo, and Churuyoc.

Our Institute’s team on the ground consisting of Roland Huilcanina Huarhua, Elton Lee Abela, and Michaela Gunetheim, was required to get Covid tests in order to get permits for the mission. On Wednesday, July 8th they were cleared to make the journey. It took 3 solid days to portion the food and personally deliver it to all the families.

Food rations delivered to each family!

A mission like this is never short of an adventure, especially in these remote areas. We are so inspired by our team and all the communities who came together to navigate the challenges side by side. We had a broken down truck in Pukara (9 hour drive on one lane dirt mountain roads) and with the help of Elton Lee Abela the communities organized to transport supplies to the communities up the road via mules and on their backs!

We have compiled a photo album on facebook here and on flickr here. All receipts and our final budget will be posted on these albums as well.

We wish to thank you again for your support in making this aid possible. The families were all profoundly grateful for the support during these challenging times.