Rosa Gordillo, Projects Coordinator at Rainforest Partnership, shared her personal experience with the recent pandemic as stated below:
“The night of March 15, 2020 I was traveling by truck from our field site Corosha to Jaen, to take the flight to Lima the next morning. At the same time, Peru’s President Martín Vizcarra gave a message to the nation announcing 15 days of a State of Emergency.
That’s when I realized I wouldn’t be able to travel, I got off the bus, spent the night in the town of Bagua and the next day I decided to turn around and return to Corosha, where I could be safe and in good company during these days of quarantine.
Away from the city and in a region where there are still no cases of COVID-19, daily life has not been hit so hard here in Corosha. The biggest impact has been the suspension of sports activities to which the community members religiously attended every afternoon.
In addition, the Sunday market in the city of Pomacochas was suspended and the pending tasks and assemblies were rescheduled. Besides this, everything remains moderately the same. The animals and the crops have not been neglected for a single day and the food supply has not presented major problems. Life in the country seems idyllic.
For my part, I have learned to use remote work tools from my cell phone, which is the only device with internet access that I have during this time of isolation. In addition to the weekly Skype calls and the daily use of Google Drive, now we have joined Trello and Slack – to keep up to date – and “Conference” calls via cellphone.
The daily routine that I follow when I am in Corosha has not changed much. Since activities involving crowding are prohibited, workshops and meetings have been canceled here, so I have more time to focus on those tasks that involve sitting and typing in front of a computer.
While I am able to continue my work more easily than many other workers in the country, the feeling of isolation from the community at large and the uncertainty of how much longer this situation will take prevails.”