Angels Newsletter #23

Time of Crisis During Covid-19

Dear Friends of Angels of the Amazon,

The world has gone through some unprecedented changes since our last newsletter. 

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Peru has closed its borders to the world and shut down all non-essential industries. This means that all tourism activities in the country have come to an abrupt and complete stop. This has created a crisis situation for the communities of the Tahuayo River, their economy, health care, the education of their children and the conservation of the ACRCTT. 

Our main source of funding has come from you, our generous donors – who over the years have helped us change so many lives in this remote part of the world. But ecotourism revenue has always funded a significant amount as well. With no tourists visiting Peru in the near future, we now find ourselves at a di cult time where ecotourism revenue is lacking. Please JOIN US to continue supporting our programs, like the Esperanza clinic. We need to safeguard the health of the Tahuayo communities. And join us in protecting education so that the children of the Tahuayo can have a bright future and together we can prevent the vicious cycle of agrarian poverty.

Healthcare Programs

Nurses from the AoA clinic in Esperanza have been visiting the upper Tahuayo communities. They have met with the community leaders to provide information regarding the crisis of COVID-19.

During their visits, the nurses provided recommendations to families in the villages to help them spot the symptoms as well as steps to keep safe. No cases of coronavirus have yet been found in the Tahuayo region. However, a few have been found in neighboring Iquitos, so we need to be vigilant.

During these extraordinary times, it is crucial to keep our nurses working and keeping our most vulnerable population in the communities informed, prepared and calm. Please donate now to continue supporting our programs like the Esperanza clinic.

Kathy, a nurse from AoA Clinicin Esperanza village, discussing with a community leader actions necessary to protect the community against coronavirus

Educational Programs

The school year starts in March in Peru. Because of the nation-wide quarantine, classes in the cities have been online. But this is not available for rural communities like the Tahuayo. Teachers come from the city of Iquitos and are now prevented from traveling to the Tahuayo because of the quarantine. When the school year does start for the Tahuayo, AoA will first distribute school packages to each registered school child. Our students will be behind in
their lessons, so we plan to assign several sta members (who will need to continue to work in the absence of tourism) to help our students catch up to their curriculum. We want to save the school year and help our Tahuayo students succeed, as well as help the employees and families of Amazonia staff.

The financial health of families on the Tahuayo River has also taken a big hit. There is now an absence of tourism revenue which is normally obtained by selling food, artesanias and employing local people to fulfill a variety of part time and full-time positions. The weekly nutritional breakfast program for the children has disappeared. Donations to Angels of the Amazon is the only alternate until we see a robust recovery of the tourism industry. Especially in the next few months, with the coming of the annual flood season, a time of food shortages often exists without our supplemental help. 

One thing we hope to do during this crisis is to continue to protect the 1.5 million acre Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo Regional Conservation Area and buffer zone. This was one of the few areas of the Amazon Rainforest that had 0 fires during the tragic Amazon firestorm in the dry season of 2019, due to the conservation relationship between ecotourism and communities. The ACRCTT is a precious reservoir of Amazon biodiversity, boasting the greatest diversity of species of monkeys, more than any other reserve in the world. Please help us support people, who will be working on conservation, humanitarian and educational projects in the absence of tourism. 

This is the greatest crisis we have faced in our 40 years in the Tahuayo River basin. Remember how much you enjoyed the gentle kindness and generosity of the indigenous people of the Tahuayo River basin and the beautiful wilderness of the ACRCTT. Together we can make a difference in this extraordinary diffcult time of need.

With your help we can rise up together as one!

Dolly,

The Jungle’s Daughter