We are not only drops, we are a river

 We are not only drops, we are a river

Shortly before the International Volunteer Day, celebrated on 5 December each year, here in Lima an event was organized to inform about different volunteer projects that are running in Peru.

By Sara Cattani and Milena Rettondini


Nicola Serra attended the meeting and shared his experience with the rest. Nicola is a young man from Trento that has spent eight months in Peru with the International Civil Service program, where he had the opportunity to coordinate the implementation of the People’s Summit in Cajamarca, held from 23 to 25 October.

The city that hosted the event is Celendín, a place with a high symbolic value both regionally and nationally for its long history of sensitivity to environmental protection. Participation at the summit was sensational, taking into account the location of the city: Celendín is located in northern Peru, at an altitude of 2600 m over see level in the middle of the Andes more than 16 hours by bus from Lima.

For this event, delegations from all regions of Peru have come with the objective of drawing attention to the various problems the country faces due to climate change, particularly coal mining projects were highlighted. Thanks to the strong heterogeneity of the participants, men and women, indigenous peoples, farmers, policy makers, organizations and associations of all kinds are given the opportunity to approach problems from multiple perspectives, highlighting the needs of everyone.

The end result of three days of work and debate was a document of intent, in which the urgent need for a change in mindset is emphasized in the way of working and in politics at all levels in the country.

In particular, it was emphazised the need to spread the message that the cause of climate change is us and our activities: Maxi mining, fossil fuels, intensive agriculture, and much more. So at the Summit the request was for the implementation of a model of local, equitable and sustainable development and promotion of a “good life” for the people, paying attention to the strong diversities and traditions that exist all over the country.

Perhaps the most successful outcome of this whole experience has been the creation of a network between the participants and the various organizations, “The movement of the good living”, which has set a goal to continue working on these issues.

And really this movement, with the slogan “We are not only drops, we are a river”, seems not to want to stop soon. Since late October two different experiences from this group were implemented: the Women’s Summit and the Great National March of Peoples.

So, while in Lima delegates and other participants at COP20 will have their “day-off”, in the Cajamarca region The Great March will start from the Lagunas de Conga and, after passing through Cajamarca, Trujillo and Chimbote, it will blend in Lima on Wednesday 10 December with thousands of participants who will be in the March for Environmental and Climate Justice in the capital.

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