Here is an update about the Coronavirus in Peru.
Peru confirmed its 1st case of the Coronavirus on – March 6th, 2020. As of March 16th, Peru had 71 confirmed cases. Today, there are 89. South America has recorded almost 1,000 cases.
On Monday, March 16th, Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra made an announcement to restrict all non-essential transportation and travel - officially closing all of Peru’s borders. This has led to thousands of out-of-country tourists to be stranded there in Peru. President Vizcarra also declared a 15-day quarantine asking everyone to stay at home and work from home if possible. Practically all businesses, stores, schools and restaurants have closed, and photos of the abandoned Lima Pan-American highway are starting to surface. All Medical facilities, pharmacies, larger food markets, gas stations and banks are allowed to stay open should they choose.
How does this effect Pucusana and The Pucusana Project?
Like most international nonprofits, all of our projects are at a standstill until the pandemic has passed. The health of our local team and the Pucusana people are our first priority, so all of our international travel, local community projects and classes are being postponed until further notice. While all of this does not directly affect our long-term operations, other than delaying our projects by a few months, The Pucusana Project is still very concerned about the people of Pucusana.
Like most 3rd world countries and impoverished areas, Pucusana lacks the medical professionals, tools and space to handle such a pandemic if the virus reaches their small fishing village. With most people living in shacks, even with quarantine restrictions (if obeyed), there is truly nothing keeping the virus from spreading like wildfire in Pucusana’s poorest areas. Peru as a nation is doing what it can, but it has a poor health care system and outside of large cities, most people (like those in Pucusana) do not have access to clean water to continually wash their hands. Additionally, there are no King Soopers or Walmart type grocery stores in Pucusana, so obtaining food has become very difficult and “stocking up” the way families have in the US is impossible. Our local and US teams fears for the health and hunger of the families living in the barriers of Pucusana. Prolonged quarantine restrictions are meant to save lives, but in deeply impoverished areas like the Pucusana barrios, they lead to mass starvation, limit access to clean water and lack of quality medical treatment.
Not to mention that the pandemic has cut off an entire month of tourism during the end of the summer time for Pucusana’s economy. Which will drastically affect the income and poverty levels of the entire city in 2020. Yes, this is much like the rest of the global economy, but unlike those in the US, the people of Pucusana will not be receiving bailouts or checks in the mail. This pandemic could substantially increase poverty in Pucusana for years to come.
As this pandemic continues, The Pucusana Project is evaluating and readjusting our 2020 goals. We firmly believe that the Christian body is responsible for caring for those suffering, especially during times of global crisis. Jesus Christ did not call the government to take care of the poor, orphaned and widowed, He called his followers to it. So, while the local governments do their best to help, we should be doing what we can as well. Therefore, The Pucusana Project will be pursuing ways in which it can best help the impoverished people of Pucusana during and after this pandemic.
We are asking for your prayers and financial aid.
Please be praying for us to find the best solution and methods to help meet the immediate needs of those living in Pucusana. Right now, we are having conversations with the locals and our focus is on how to safely get food to those in the barrios (probably by foot) while avoiding social gatherings. Please consider donating to help this cause.
President of The Pucusana Project