Threads of Peru Blog

The Indomitable Spirit of the Andean People

Barely three weeks have passed since the river flooded that separates Rumira Sondormayo from its neighbour Patacancha, and yet the signs of recovery are everywhere.

My colleagues at Apus Peru and I travelled up to Rumira on Saturday to deliver some staple foods to the families who lost crops due to the flooding, and we were amazed at how quickly efforts have been made to repair the damages.  

Some of the staples that we brought for the families whose homes and crops were damaged in the flooding

Some of the staples that we brought for the families whose homes and crops were damaged in the flooding.

Just outside Ollantaytambo, we passed a faena in full swing. Faenas are community work projects, where everyone from a particular village or group of villages is called on to come together to work on a particular project, usually a project that is of communal benefit. On this day, we saw men of all ages shovelling sand into sacks, hauling those sacks away, and also carrying all kinds of other construction equipment to a work site some distance away from the road.

As we travelled further up the road, beyond Huilloc, we saw that damages to the road had been repaired, bridges re-built, and most noticeable of all, the river had returned to its normal level.   

A road that was impassable just three weeks ago can now easily be travelled by car

A road that was impassable just three weeks ago can now easily be travelled by car.

Much is being done to prevent the same situation from repeating itself next year as well. While we were in Rumira, we crossed paths with a man from the Civil Defense service. Apparently members of the Civil Defense have been in the community investigating ways to divert the flow of the river, should it be in danger of overflowing again, so as to avoid impacting homes and fields. They are also engineering ways to raise the banks of the river.   

Hector and Ever carry the goods we brought to one family's one, using a newly re-built bridge. The previous one had washed away

Hector and Ever carry the goods we brought to one family's one, using a newly re-built bridge. The previous one had washed away.

 It just goes to show how hard-working and dedicated the Andean people are, and no amount of rain will ever wash that away.