31.01.2010 18 °C
So I travelled into the Sacred Valley, the surrounding regions of Cuzco yesterday with some other volunteers from Aldea Yanapay. It was crazy what we saw. The bridge to Pisac one of the towns in the valley had totally collapsed. To get further into the valley we had to take a motor taxi and then walk accross a footbridge further down. Once we got across the river we were able to take more buses to get to Calca, Urubamba and finally Ollantaytambo. I photographed everything I saw on the way and I couldn't believe the level of devastation. All these towns are stationed along the river and because of the torential rain it has caused mas flooding of the region. Although the level of water has now regressed somewhat it has completely flattened houses, buildings, flooded crops and thus destroyed peoples livelihoods. We visited a small community of people somewhere between Urubamba & Ollantaytambo, an area which we were told had not recieved much aid. We took them vegetables, pasta, rice and chicken. To get to the community we had to walk down the trainline that serves Machu Picchu. Anyone who says the rail line will be up and running in a few weeks is lying. It is completely covered in places by mud and debris and water in some places. We stayed to talk to the people who are all living in tents set just up on the hills from the river. The tents were quite basic aid tents and only some of which we saw had mattresses and blankets inside them. All the people there seemed amazingly upbeat, the children were all running around and playing. We stayed to help cook dinner pealing potatos, carrots and peas. On our way back to Cuzco it started to rain again and didn't stop until way past midnight. I can't help but feel devastated for those people that have lost everything and are now living in tents beside the river which took away their homes. We are trying to raise as much money as possible to help with the relief effort. If you are reading this and feel at all touched by the story please make a small donation. Foreign currency goes a long way here, to feed one homeless person in the valley is £1 per day, a tent costs £35, mattressess are £20 and blankets are £3. There are now two websites we are working with to do this: http://www.mysmallhelp.org/index.php or http://www.desanagiving.org/ Thanks x x.