June 5, 2020:
Update: Thanks to the generosity of donors to our GoFundMe campaign, over the past few weeks UAC staff and volunteers have provided emergency food and supplies to 118 indigenous families, close to 500 people, stranded in the city of Pucallpa, Peru due to the quarantine.
The families are members of the Amahuaca, Yaminahua, Ashéninka, Asháninka, Yanesha, Huni Kuin, Mastanahua, and Sharanahua tribes from the remote Purús and Yurua regions. Some families are living in communal houses in the city, however many others are living in rented rooms on city outskirts and even more desperate for help. The tribes will remain stranded for at least a few more weeks, so we are leaving the fundraiser open so we can continue helping them stay healthy and safe until air travel between Pucallpa and remote jungle regions resumes and they can return to their villages. On behalf of UAC and the families you’ve helped, we want to again express our sincere thanks for your generous support. (To donate, visit GoFundMe.)
May 18, 2020:
Over the past week, we delivered 86 baskets of food and supplies to indigenous families stranded in the city of Pucallpa, Peru due to the quarantine. The food was purchased by generous donations made by friends and supporters of UAC through a GoFundMe page. In less than two weeks, over 50 donors from around the world collectively pledged over $4,300 to help families stranded far from their homes and without means to purchase food or medicine. Pucallpa is the capital of Ucayali department, which is one of the regions hardest hit by Covid–19 anywhere in the Amazon Basin.
The recipients of these food baskets are members of the Huni Juin, Asháninka, Culina, Amahuaca, Mastanahua, and Yaminahua tribes from the very remote Yurua and Purús regions. Most had traveled to Pucallpa in February or March to receive better medical attention than what is available in or around their communities. Access to the Yurua and Purús regions is only possible by plane, and so when Peru stopped air travel with the COVID-19 lock-downs, it left these families stranded and unable to return home. We have been working in these areas and with these remote communities on land titling, sustainable resource management and other needed support projects for over 15 years.
The situation in Pucallpa is complicated by the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the city and among indigenous communities in the surrounding jungle. Both the regional and national governments have been unable to provide the necessary food and medical support to the tribes to ensure they are safe and COVID negative—and most importantly to ensure that they do not pass the virus to the rest of their tribes when they are able to travel home.
We will continue to work with indigenous leaders, government agencies and other NGO’s to assist these families and the tribes at home in the jungles during this unprecedented and extremely dangerous health crisis. In the meantime, we want to express our sincere appreciation to all the people from Peru, the United States, the UK and around the world who have donated. Your generosity made a huge difference for many families . . . THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU !!!!