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Cosma, Peru Relief Efforts from Torrential Rains

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In March of 2017, torrential rains devastated the small village of Cosma in the Nepeña Valley of Peru. The only road to the village is impassable because of mudslides. Many houses have been destroyed or are now without roofs. We are raising funds for the immediate needs of this small village. Our budget has no administrative expenses. All funds will go directly to the Peruvian people

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Cosma, Peru Relief Efforts from Torrential Rains

  1. 1. Cosma fields with the largest of the mounds in the background. In the foreground, alfalfa field and Naty, a resident of Cosma milking one of her cows. The Village of Cosma, Peru and the 2017 Torrential Rains ~ Kimberly Munro
  2. 2. Cosma is a small agro-pastoral community located on the western slope of the Cordillera Negra Mountains of Ancash. It sits at the headwaters of one of the tributaries of the Nepeña River. Cosma is one of the oldest communities in the Caceres District of Ancash, founded in 1714 as a Spanish settlement, though native inhabitants had lived in the basin prior to its historical founding. The people who inhabit the basin today speak Spanish as well as Quechua. Their major economy is based on their agricultural products such as potatoes, quinoa, avocados, and wheat. They’re also known down valley for their delicious fresh bread, and queso-fresco. But because of its relative isolation, the younger generations have been leaving the community for the comforts of coastal city living. Currently, the majority of people living in the community are older, between 50-90 years in age. There are only 40 school aged children in town. There are only two mountain passes into Cosma. A dirt road leads from the capital town of Jimbe lower down the valley, and a narrow cattle trail connects to the neighboring town of Pamparomas. Even in good times there is no public vehicle transportation to the community, so the town can only be accessed by private cars, or the truck which delivers supplies into the community twice a week. But the torrential rains have caused mudslides which have severely damaged both access roads. Many houses have been damaged (adobe walls are crumbling and roofs have been destroyed). The higher altitude in the mountains also means the temperatures drop significantly at night, well into the low 40s (5 degrees Celsius.) There is currently no dry place to sleep in the community. The people in Cosma urgently need tents, tarps, and sleeping bags or blankets to keep warm and dry. Food and clean water are in sort supply; fuel, cooking supplies, and tools are also needed.
  3. 3. Oblique view into Cosma basin taken from western ridge-top. The road to Cosma with arrow indicating Cosma’s location
  4. 4. View of the Cosma basin from the eastern mountain ridge facing west. The orange arrow shows the town’s location in the basin, green arrow shows the road into town.
  5. 5. The supply truck into Cosma. Don Mario (outside of the truck) has been driving this truck and the route up every Friday and Sunday since the pass opened thirty years ago.
  6. 6. Even now that the torrential rains have slowed, streams that are normally easily crossed in a car are well beyond their banks.
  7. 7. The only road into Cosma is now blocked by landslides such as this that will need to be cleared in the coming weeks.
  8. 8. Clearing landslides with the only rudimentary tools available.
  9. 9. The plaza in Cosma, taken from different angles.
  10. 10. Typical houses in Cosma, before the 2017 rains. Note the colonial roadway through the town.
  11. 11. From 2016, Dona Vicenta, making bread (left). Below, posing with her spinning implements outside of her home – that as a result of the 2017 rains does not have a roof.
  12. 12. Destruction to homes in the wake of the devastating 2017 torrential rains in the village
  13. 13. Particularly hard hit were homes such as this on the outskirts of the village
  14. 14. Homes have been destroyed and buried in mud and debris from landslides
  15. 15. Many homes such as this one were destroyed by the 2017 torrential rains in Cosma.
  16. 16. A community that relies heavily on agriculture, Prospero and his friends with wheat harvested from his field. *Photo taken from 2016 photo diary project by Cosma resident
  17. 17. **This photo was taken by a resident of Cosma during the photo diary project (2016)
  18. 18. Children in front of the school with Peruvian flags on 2016 Independence Day
  19. 19. Your help is needed now to rebuild the lives of the people of Cosma. Your donation, large or small is greatly appreciated. Go to: GoFundMe.com/p/mq6f Thank you in advance for your support!

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