Dear friends and supporters of Angels of the Amazon,
In 2012, the upper Amazon basin suffered through a devastating environmental disaster, the worst flood in recorded history. Termed a once in a century flood that many hoped it would never be repeated, in April of this year the region suffered another massive, disastrous flood, the second highest in recorded history. These floods come at the end of the Andean summer, and are caused by glacial meltdown in the Andes high Cordillera Blanca, the largest tropical glacial mass in the world.
It is heartbreaking to see the families in Iquitos, again, living in small, uncomfortable shelters in the streets, while their homes and their belongings remain under water.
In the jungle communities, people are living in the rafters of their homes, with farms destroyed and livestock drowned. As of this writing, the flood continues and is not expected to recede until mid May, a period of about 7-8 weeks that people will have lived in flooded homes.
I am still in the jungle as of this publication, delivering aid to the communities of the Tahuayo, bringing food and blankets. Angels of the Amazon (AoA) is committed to make sure no one suffers cold or hunger. After the flood recedes, the hard work of rebuilding the destroyed homes and replanting farms will begin.
This past March we had again the good fortune to work with the great organization of Healing the Children. A team of fifteen dentists and hygienists worked for a week on nearly 200 patients from the Tahuayo communities filling
cavities, extracting bad teeth and performing oral hygiene. Because of this marvelous assistance, there are no children crying themselves to sleep at night because of toothaches.
As we all experience in America, dental care is expensive. It is also expensive in Peru and the only option typically open for the people in the jungle is to travel to Iquitos city to seek out the cheapest dental clinics which put cheap metal crowns on their teeth. These cheap metal crowns eventually destroy the teeth, so the annual dental clinics run by AoA for the past ten years are a great alternative. We thank the groups of dentist and hygienists who kindly and generously contribute to the well being of the people of the Tahuayo.
Over these years we have been able to see the improvements in dental health, especially in the younger generation who have been benefiting from these annual visits. Now the teenagers are able to still have full sets of front teeth unlike before, when at age 12-15 most of their front teeth would be decayed. AoA also includes in our distribution of school supplies, tooth brushes and toothpaste, as well as regular seminars in oral hygiene. Our clinic in Esperanza also contributes with emergency extractions and distribution of dental supplies donated by AoA.
The Esperanza village clinic is also busy these days, treating flood related problems such as respiratory infections, fevers and skin infections caused by living in flooded homes. The medicines and staff salaries paid by AoA (2 full time nurses and 1 part time) continue to be an essential 24 hour a day service provided to the communities of the Tahuayo.
Special thanks to many Amazonia travelers and to all our donors who contribute to AoA’s mission, without your help none of the above would be possible.
Thank you on behalf of the many people you have helped who are so thankful to you. AoA has been a bridge and I the instrument that connects you with them. The courage, strength, resilience that many people have showed me only keeps me motivated to continue creating, being and collaborating more, together we can make a world of difference! One heart, two worlds!
Angels of the Amazon