How to help in Cusco, Peru

The remaining tourists stranded by landslides and flooding near Machu Picchu in Peru have now been evacuated but those who have lost their homes and livelihoods in the disaster still need help.

According to the BBC, 4,000 tourists and locals have been evacuated by police, but help is still needed by the owners of the 13,000 houses that collapsed and the people who rely on tourists and Machu Picchu for their incomes.

Flavio Huamani Quejia, an experienced Inca Trail guide who works for Llama Path and Incaland Adventure, was guiding a group of trekkers and porters when the disaster struck. He lost a friend, also a tour guide, in the landslides and is now helping with the relief project.

Flavio guided me along the Inca Trail in December 2009. He was excellent at his job, not only taking care of every potential problem before any of the trekkers in our group became aware of it but willing to talk about his time in the Peruvian army and Peru’s more uncomfortably recent history than the Inca era.

Here’s what he’s got to say about his experience in the disaster:

”I was caught in Aguas Calientes until 29th January with 9 trekkers and 15 porters. We are now fine but many people from Cusco and around the Sacred Valley are not so lucky. Around 13,000 homes collapsed and the families lost everything; they need our help.”

Flavio sent me this link to a Peruvian television channel and urged me to ask my friends and family to send any clothing they can spare.

If you can spare any clothing, and anything else you think might help the relief effort, please send it to:

Flavio Huamani Quejia, Urbanizacion Flor de la Cantata b-2 San Sebastian, Cusco, Peru.

If you want to send money, send it via Western Union to Flavio Huamani Quejia in the city of Cusco, Peru. As Flavio says, “Anything, from US$5 to US$100, is a huge help and much appreciated.”

Flavio is a good man. If you want to really make a difference to the people of Peru affected by the floods and landlsides, please help him help them.


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