Between the Amazona and the Andes, between “natives and peasants”

Two days of emotions and surprises in the discovery of activity of Asociación Redes As Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa would say “The best way to travel is feeling. To feel in every way. To feel everything in excess”. And in this last two days in the centre of Peru, between the Andes and the Amazona, we have traveled and we have felt a lot.

We have traveled for over ten hours between bus and cars, going through a path above 4700 metres over the river with 3 boats with rafts, paths with potholes…When we go to Comunidad native Ashaninkas in Selva Tropical Peruana, a set of sensations and emotions joint without time to understand where we were.

The heat of the rainforest, the colours of natura, but mostly fruits, smiles, greetings and native music have made us understand that our adventure was just beginning.

In fact, We were finishing our first week in COP20 in Lima when Asociación Reyes guided us for two complete days to Pichanaki, Huancayo, the rainforest and the Cerros in order to make us understand how “Proyecto Integrado Huancayo” works supported by Asociación El Canal and financed by Provincia Autónoma de Trento to tell again all the story in one article is humanly impossible. To report all the information picked up is complicated. To describe all the emotions felt is tough.

The enthusiasm and professionalism of kids when they tell you their experience with their social cooperative banks, which have been opened by themselves to reach their first saving, is beyond description.
And it’s the same for adults: satisfaction shines in their eyes and words because they can get weekly 10 soles (less than 3 euros).

They know that they will be able to use it in the near future to buy schools supplies for their children or to guarantee better sanitation and their health, or even a better healthy nutrition. Pedro Valderrama, who is a forwarder of “Katari-Aoti” bank is surprised when he tells that his saving will be used to Agricola activities, in particular to get diversity in his crops inside his community.

Nowadays community is looking to recover from a tough epidemic, the Roya, that it have destroyed coffee plantation in that place. At the same time it is looking to adjust to climate change, with its temperature changes, burning heat and violent rainfalls.

Climate change is testing animal life and rainforest plants. And when we move from Amazona to Cerro Bellavista at 3600 metres people tell us that they have the same problems and worries that we have heard in earlier visits.
All is related with Climate change, again. In this case, dry season and dryness in fields make inhabitants work harder putting their harvest in danger every day. A work made without chemicals, 100% organic harvests.

In addition to this, Peruvian government uses pesticides spreading it over illegal cocaine crops to destroy them. This causes much damage to local farmers because it kills other crops which are far away from illegal ones. Our short but intense visit ends in Huncayo, principal city of this region, where we have the opportunity to spend more time with teenagers from the city.

Also we found girls who have been abused by their relatives and now they are working in a recovery process with experts from Asociación Reyes. Coming back to reality in Lima is difficult.

This experience have made us open our eyes and meditate about the importance of the littlest things. We know the importance of a native’s hug, a smile of a kid and a picture with our beloved.

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