The Flooding and Mudslides in Peru
We are saddened by the recent reports of flooding in Peru and other parts of South America. A localized El Niño effect caused by a sudden warming of waters off the coast has unleashed downpours. In one report it claims to be 50 degrees warmer than normal. Some of these downpours have lasted days and have killed almost 100 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless. Many of these are amongst Peru’s poorest who have built their homes close to rivers and on flood plains. As a traveler, you often make connections with places you visit and the tragedies are no longer “something that happens somewhere else”, you say to yourself “I’ve been to some of those places, shopped in those stores and walked on those streets”.
We are going back to Peru
If not this year, then returning to Machu Picchu with family in 2018 for sure. Going back to revisit Lima and venture to more of the surrounding areas is a must do on our list. Both Lima and Machu Picchu could end up in jeopardy due to flooding and mudslides. Last year Machu Picchu was closed to the public for 2 months while they fixed the rail line leading to and from it. According to the Latin American Herald Tribune, “There are businessmen and people who are making trips and domestic tourists who are visiting the archaeological sanctuary of Machu Picchu through this zone and who, upon becoming stranded, have had to walk for several hours, the governor said.” Much of the rainfall has been to the north but is still affecting other parts of Peru.
Decline in Tourism
The flooding has lead to a drastic drop in recent tourism which many people rely on to survive such as the many ladies we saw in the Plaza Mayor, Cusco who were selling goods as a livelihood. There were many vendors in the markets outside of Cusco who also rely on the tourist crowd. This year marks the 100th year of the discovery of Machu Picchu and will most likely bring even more tourist money into the country than normal. Unfortunately, the rains are expected to continue into April as well. The website PeruCanadaTrade has Peru’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism press release. In it, there are details of what is closed in Northern Peru. It also points out what areas are still safe for regular tourist activities.
Hopefully, the cities and people can recover quickly from this tragedy.
If you are thinking of heading south this year, consider putting Peru on your list. There are wonderful beaches and amazing cultural sites. But, make sure you check to see the condition of the area you want to visit. There is so much to see in this amazing country it would be a shame to not go.
No matter where you go make sure you have good travel insurance.
Things to do
Lima has many great beaches but the ones we saw didn’t have a lot of sand. The pebble-like beach in Lima didn’t stop the surfers though. There are lots of shops offering surfing lessons and rentals if this tickles your fancy. Surfing is on our list to do next time. Lima also has lots of world class restaurants for the foodie in you. They were recently awarded three spots on the top 50 best restaurants in the world for 2017 (4th, 13th, 30th). On our city tour that left from the mall at Larcomar we visited the City Center, Plaza Mayor, and then the Franciscan Monastery, a highly recommended tour. The crypts beneath the monastery were a haunting depiction of a long past ritual. There are also archeological sites and lots in the surrounding area.
Don’t forget to visit Larcomar mall and the area around Miraflores which is very tourist friendly. And when you need some friends, visit Kennedy Park and the over 250 stray cats. There are also many archeological sites in the surrounding areas.
If you’re interested in providing assistance due to the flooding in the form of donations, the Consulate General of Peru in Toronto and the Peruvian Canadian Chamber of Commerce have opened bank accounts to receive donations:
SCOTIABANK (Any branch)
Consulate General of Peru in Toronto – AYUDA A DAMNIFICADOS 2017″,
Account number: 91132 002 00251 19
SCOTIABANK (Any branch)
Peruvian Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Account number: 800020566217
*** Feature image taken from https://phys.org/news/2017-04-south-america-deadly-landslides.html
We look forward to your comments. Cheers.