During the month of April, Peru experienced one of the most destructive floods in its history. More than 100 people were killed and over 1,000 were wounded. It is estimated that close to 700,000 families lost their homes.
The Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, providing service over 50 years in Chimbote, Peru, a city located on the Northern Coast, suddenly found themselves among those listed as the hardest hit by this tragedy. Although the entire coastal area suffered damage, the states of Piura, Trujillo and Chimbote were totally isolated as flood waters swept away bridges and roadways. Communication and banking systems were impaired for several days. An unexpected crisis, but one that had to be dealt with.
Response was immediate from the United States and Mexico! Aware of the immediate need for water, food, and basic hygiene supplies, the Congregation organized online and one-on-one verbal appeals for donations to meet the crisis. Donations were made directly to the offices of the Congregation, both in United States and Mexico.
Thanks to the immediate response of so many wonderful people such as you, within a few days arrangements had been made through CHRISTUS Muguerza, in Monterrey, Mexico, for the police in Lima to provide transportation of five tons of water, food, and supplies for distribution to the most destitute and needy in Chimbote. The schools in Mexico organized and carried out an appeal for donations. Within days, the Sisters and staff in our ministries in Chimbote were experiencing relief brought about by your generosity!
Despite the fact that access to Chimbote was severely curtailed and affected by flood waters, Santa Clara Clinic and the Hospice Santiago Apóstol continued to serve their patients while accessing, planning and executing distribution plans to meet the needs of the people in the area.
To date many have been helped through the distribution of packages of canned food, hygiene products, drinking water, and services of medical and psychological teams. Reaching out from Chimbote to surrounding rural communities isolated and without care and attention, medical clinics will continue to serve through the summer months with the assistance of teams of doctors and support teams from CHRISTUS Health facilities of Mexico, Chile and Colombia.
Rebuilding of infrastructure will take time, but immediate needs have been met for the moment. People’s lives have been touched by your generosity!
Many lost everything. Your reaching out has restored hope, giving courage and energy to many, to start again. ¡Mil gracias!