Quechua Benefit had barely completed the fundraising, organization and delivery of aid to the Peruvian alpaca breeders suffering from an extremely cold winter, when a second tragedy struck.
The Colca Valley was hit by a 5.4 earthquake whose epicenter was 15 minutes from Casa Chapi. As fate would have it, the quake virtually destroyed the poorest community in the valley — Ichupampa. This small village’s population includes a disproportionate share of elderly people. Eighty percent of the homes and buildings in the town were destroyed. There is no running water, sewer, or shelter for the homeless. The town’s residents eat at makeshift soup kitchens set up at the four corners of the plaza. A few have small tents provided by the government, but it is still winter and the temperatures drop below freezing at night.
Quechua Benefit is currently working on the budget for a significant relief effort and a project that will help the town rebuild and provide hope for a new beginning.