Top News from Peru

Top News from Peru: August 16-22


Waters of Amazon River recede in Peru, reports government

During the last couple weeks the water level of the Amazon River has been dropping.  All transport and commerce activities will be negatively affected if this trend continues. According to Marco Paredes, the director of the national meteorologic service in Loreto, this could end up being the most significant water drop in decades. According to Paredes, “We are talking about approximately 25cm per day, which means one meter every four days. If this tendency continues, we will reach the minimum levels soon.”

Peru’s first breast milk bank opens in Lima

The first breast milk bank in Peru opened on Thursday at Lima’s National Maternal-Perinatal Institute.  The milk bank is expected to benefit 1,600 babies each year whose mothers cannot breastfeed them due to a number of issues, such as having hypertension or diabetes. Breast milk has long been acknowledged as the most nutritious way of feeding infants, and the World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life.  The bank collects, processes, tests and distributes donated human milk, thus extending the benefits of breastfeeding to those babies whose mothers cannot breastfeed them.

To read more about the benefits of breastfeeding for both mothers and children visit

Report finds 78 percent of indigenous children living in poverty

On the World’s Indigenous People Day (August 9), UNICEF and the National Statistics and Technology Institute presented a report revealing that a huge percentage of Peru’s indigenous children live in poverty. According to the report, which was funded by the Canadian government, a quarter of Peru’s four million indigenous people are children. Most of these children live in the poorest departments of Peru, including Huancavelica, Apurimac, Ayacucho and Puno. The most staggering figure from the report shows that 78 percent of indigenous children between ages three and 17 live in poverty.

On the other hand, the report was positive in terms of health care improvement. It showed that a greater number of indigenous children have health insurance than non-indigenous children. A critical problem remains that there is a lack of health care professionals working in areas with large indigenous populations.

Following are more figures from the report presented by the Peruvian Times and are available through the link at the end:

-In Peru 78 percent of indigenous children between the ages of three and 17 live in poverty, compared to 40 percent for children whose first language is Spanish.

-40 percent of indigenous children in Peru do not have access to potable water and 20 percent lack access to drainage systems.

-In terms of education, 32 percent of children from 3-5 years old go to education centers, compared to 55 percent for non-indigenous children.

-Ninety percent of all indigenous children from 6-11 years old go to school, but that statistic falls to 77 percent among Ashaninka children and 76% for those from other communities in the jungle.

-Only one-fourth of Ashaninka children from 3-5 years old have a birth certificate and 35 percent of those from 18-20 years old have the National Identity Document (DNI).

Peru launches touristic campaign “Jungle at half price”

Friday began a campaign called “Jungle at half price” that will last until October 20 to boost domestic tourism to beautiful destinations that are currently in low season, like Loreto, San Martín, Huánuco, Selva Central, Ucayali and Amazonas. The Peruvian government launched the campaign with the goal of attracting 20,000 domestic tourists. Some destinations will have discounts up to 50% on the total price of packages and 35% in air fares.


Trash depository creates controversy

Residents of Urb. Los Geranios called for the removal of a metal garbage “container” intended to improve the cleanliness of the neighborhood. While there appears to be consensus among the residents that there is a sanitary, as well as aesthetic problem with all the garbage lying around, the metal receptacle also caused disdain.  According to one resident and supporter of the container, the area was already a place where garbage was dumped by citizens and restaurants alike- attracting animals to the scene. She laments that the other residents don’t like the structure and fears that its removal will only continue the problem of the garbage. However, the other residents, like one who just opened a dental office directly in front of the structure, don’t support the container because they don’t want the highly visible area to become the permanent place where garbage is taken.

Organizations unite to fight against malnutrition

The female leaders of the program Juntos de Frías were trained by the Fisheries Development Fund and the International Cooperation Agency of Japan in the “hygiene, handling, processing and consumption” of anchoveta, a Peruvian fish in the anchovy family. The goal of the training was to educate the leaders on how the fish can be incorporated into families’ diets in order to combat malnutrition. Workshop attendees were excited about the positive impact they felt this information would have on the health of their families now that they understood the nutritional value of the local resource.


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