Over the past several weeks, Peru has been devastated with extreme flooding from rains that are ten times greater than normal and comparable to the catastrophic 1997/1998 El Nino. At least 80 people have died in the floods, others are missing, and over 100,000 people have lost their homes. Mudslides and avalanches have caused roads and bridges to collapse. Many residents of rural communities remain in desperate need of food supplies, clean drinking water, and medicine. The Peruvian government is doing what they can to get supplies to those in need, yet many rural communities have received limited help from their municipalities.
Such is the situation in Nivín, the village featured prominently in this blog over the past year where I work with my colleague Elizabeth Cruzado Carranza. Equally affected is the nearby community of Cosma, in the Caceres District of Nepeña, where my colleague Kimberly Munro works. As in Nivín, the cultural heritage work of Kimberly’s in Cosma has a strong community outreach and co-creative component.
Because of our consistent emphasis on the development and empowerment of these local communities in Ancash, their leaders requested that we assist them with their recovery efforts from the devastating floods. Of course, we agreed to help in any way that we can.
As a first step, we launched a fundraising campaign to buy materials specifically requested by residents of the Nivín and Cosma communities. With our community partners in Peru, we have structured our fundraising campaign to complement but not duplicate other relief efforts.
I ask that you consider donating today to this critical human need. We will immediately transfer funds to our partners in Peru who will purchase and arrange the transport of materials to the villages of Nivín and Cosma. The link to the gofundme site provides a detailed budget for the fundraising project. Of importance, the budget contains no administrative expenses – the funds we raise go directly to the human needs of the Peruvian people.
Nivín and Cosma are two of the most affected communities in the Casma and Nepeña Valleys from the recent flooding. For example in Nivín, at least one-third of the houses in the community are washed away. Mudslides have buried other houses and agricultural fields. The 25 km road from Casma to Nivín is in desperate need of repair. Elderly and ill members of the community were airlifted to Casma by the Peruvian government.
The community is committed to rebuilding as can be seen in the recent Facebook posts here and here by our colleague in Nivín, Professor Valencia. We asked Professor Valencia if we should cancel our plans for archaeological research this summer and focus solely on flood relief. He suggested that we continue with both sets of tasks. Elizabeth and Robert will lead a small team of Peruvian archaeologists and U.S. interns who will assist with both the flood rebuilding efforts and co-creative cultural heritage projects.
How You Can Support the Recovery Effort
In addition to making a direct financial contribution to Nivín/Cosma fundraising campaign, there are several additional steps that you can take to help in the project.
- First and foremost, share this post via email, Twitter, Facebook, other social media outlets, or as a printed hard copy. Share with your networks of families, friends and colleagues. Although the need is great, small communities like Nivín and Cosma are often at the end of the recovery chain. Your sharing will help to meet the community needs.
- Another great way to spread the word, is through slideshare presentations we have prepared for both Cosma and Nivín. You can download and share these presentations in your civic, school, or other group meetings.
- We have prepared two flyers promoting our fundraising campaign that you can print and post at your place of work, school, coffee shop, or other venue. The flyers are available as pdf and jpg files in both English and Spanish. Jpg files can readily be posted to social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram. Here are the links English: pdf & jpeg. Spanish: pdf & jpeg.
- You can also share our gofundme fundraising link (GoFundMe.com/p/mq6f) throughout your social media networks.
- Also, if you live in Peru and are able to make a material donation or help with the transport of materials to Nivín or Cosma, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Elizabeth, Kimberly, and I, along with the people of Nivín and Cosma thank you for your consideration.