Covid-19 road block put in place to stop the spread.
Date: May 20th, 2020
In May 2020, the Cafe Femenino Foundation reached out to Peru to find out how they were getting through the Covid-19 pandemic. We would like to share with you the information that we received.
How are women and families doing in communities with the Covid-19 pandemic?
Happily in good health, the communities are still clean. The communities are isolated and there are many limitations to travelling into the populated centers.
Unfortunately, food is scarce. They have seasonal crops: corn, potatoes, cassava, beans, wheat, quinoa, fruits, and vegetables, but with three months of consumption many foods are running out. They also need food that they do not grow and need to purchase like rice, sugar, oil, noodles, oats. Thanks to the Emergency Food Fund, 115 women are accessing these funds to buy food. The communities served so far are: Agua Azul and La Laja (Aspro-Cajamarca), Tallapampa (Lambayeque), New York, Roblepampa, El Ron (Amazonas).
The Government has allocated Aid Bonds, but unfortunately it reaches very few.
Are there positive cases of Covid-19 in any of the communities?
No cases have been reported in the communities where we work yet. In Cococho, two cases been reported of people who had arrived from Lima, but they have managed to control the spread and no more cases have been reported.
Organized producers are playing a very important role in controlling the movement of people. They have an organization called Rondas Campesinas and it is a very important institution in the communities. They do not allow anyone to enter the communities if they do not quarantine and whoever leaves the community upon return has to quarantine.
How do you manage community members who have been living in cities that now want to enter remote communities?
The local community members, in coordination with the local authorities, have assumed control of their communities and have put up fences for all the entrances and exits of the communities and have shift surveillance posts.
They are forcing quarantine for people coming into communities in conditioned spaces in schools or the family is building small houses on farms. The shift surveillance posts take turns making rounds in their spaces to prevent people from leaving their homes. Crime and levels of violence have decreased in communities.
The problem is the food shortage and other needs such as coats, boots, hats; as well as the limitations to move coffee to the collection centers.
Are people getting the food they need?
Only what they produce or can exchange with other members of their community. It is very difficult to move to the cities to buy the food and there is no money to buy food that they do not grow.
Are you seeing an improvement in your area now in terms of the Covid-19 pandemic?
We are very happy that our communities are clean and so far we have not had positive cases. But in cities the situation is very complicated.
Lambayeque-Chiclayo is among the first regions with a high rate of contagion and deaths. Chiclayo is the obligatory place of transit between the mountains and jungle coast and that makes it difficult to manage the situation, also difficult because of the irresponsibility of people to act as if nothing will happen, markets and supermarkets, as well as hospitals are the biggest focus of contagion now.
In Peru as of today we have 155,671 confirmed cases and 8,433 deaths; Lambayeque-Chiclayo, until yesterday there were 7060 confirmed cases and 608 deaths.
The situation is challenging but we will survive.