A sense of security in Peru

Paquito's story

Paquito is a 70-year-old widow who lives on her own in Trujillo, Peru. Her children have their own families and have moved away to find work.

She lives in a small house, made of adobe (mud) bricks. When heavy rains fell in 2017, volunteers in the community warned Paquito that she might be in danger. She had prepared a bag containing her important documents and some clothes, but was very scared.

It had been raining for days.​

No food or light

The torrential flood waters hit Paquito’s house and swept away her kitchen. Neighbours came to help, but there was little that could be done to salvage the house.

‘We really didn’t know what we were going to do. We were in the middle of the water – mud, bricks, everything was under water. My home was just a mass of mud and there was no roof.

‘For three days we had no food and no light, and didn’t know what was going to happen. We all slept under one big piece of plastic and I was very scared.’

Once the floodwaters subsided, Paquito returned to her home to find it buried in mud. Large parts of it were completely destroyed. The mud bricks had melted under the force of the floodwaters.

A destroyed home after flooding in Peru
Intense rains caused flooding and mudslides in Peru

Relief at last

ShelterBoxes and shelter kits in Peru

Paquito received a shelter kit containing a tarpaulin and the essential tools she needed to rebuild her home. She also received a ShelterBox containing aid items like a mosquito net, solar lights and water carriers.

For the next three weeks, Paquito stayed with her neighbour Maria whilst the community helped to rebuild her home. The shelter kit helped build a new roof for Paquito’s house and her neighbours also rebuilt the walls using concrete plaster so that they will be stronger.

Paquito makes beautiful hand crocheted blankets which she sells at the market. With the money she makes from selling them, she is buying new bricks to extend her home and make a better kitchen.

She said: ‘I’m keeping the box and all of the items that I received as a memento. I still use all of the items, they are very useful, and the box is important to me. I keep it safe and I know that it is there, if I need to use it again. It makes me feel secure.’

No family without shelter

Natural disasters and conflicts never take days off, and neither do we. We are impatient to see a world where no family is left without shelter when disaster strikes.

Your support means that we can continue to provide relief from disasters and spread hope to communities, wherever they are.

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