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How One River Devastated a Community in Peru — And What You Can Do To Help

Just two months ago, I shared my journey to Peru with you. It was a magical, if not trying, trip. I learned how to communicate with the locals without speaking Spanish (or Quechua); I saw Machu Picchu; I slept with 10 layers on at night; I traversed muddy mountains during the day; I did not fall once. Now those lovely people, who welcomed me and the members of LATISM, so warmly into their homes, are cleaning up the devastation caused from a massive flood. Just two weeks ago the Patacancha River flooded, wiping out homes, killing livestock, and ruining infrastructure like bridges.

baby in peru

Patacancha on a normal day, pre flood

 

Life in Patacancha is very simple — they don’t have things like heat, hot water, or even vacuums.  Most kids do not own more than a pair of sandals. Their homes are, for the most part, adobe clay huts. In other words, they don’t have a lot to spare. So why should you care?

 

The Patacancha landscape after a simple rain shower.

The Patacancha landscape after a simple rain shower.

I realize it’s hard to justify spending money on people you’ve never met, but natural disasters don’t discriminate, as we learned last year during Hurricane Sandy. Anything you can donate will help. Families in Peru are no different than families in the U.S., except for on the outside. And now Patacancha’s landscape is ravaged. Your donations will help them fix their homes, purchase blankets, and repair their school. If you need some context, 5 American dollars is the equivalent of 12 Peruvian soles, roughly the cost of a warm hat. For a kid that only has one form of protection from the elements, that’s a lot.

To see photos of the area, check out this video:

To donate click here (LATISM has organized): Patacancha, Peru Flood Relief Fund 

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