We have heard from many of our HBI stakeholders. Thank you for your concern.
Many of you have asked how things are going “on the ground” with the Casa Girasoles and our staff with the ongoing protests and political challenges in Perú. Well, here is a brief update:
All of our staff are safe and well. The protests have directly impacted some of our staff’s families, but no one has been hurt. The children in the Casa Girasoles programs are all equally safe and well. It is summer vacation in Perú, so the kids have been hanging around the homes and staying out of street protests.
The government has announced a plan to reopen all the blocked highways in the country with “firmness and in compliance with the law.” Congress is meeting to decide the constitutionality of moving the elections forward to December 2023. President Dina Boluarte continues to hold fast to her position. She has called on Congress to determine the legality of advancing the elections and clearing the way for reforms.
What does all of this mean for the protests and social unrest raging around the country? No one knows.
In the Sacred Valley at the Casa Girasoles Urubamba, road closures have meant an area shortage of gas, propane, and many basic foodstuffs. In Ica, the city has been almost completely cut off from commerce, with the Pan-American Highway suffering from blockades for over a month. Food prices have doubled over the protests in both locations, and budgets have been considerably impacted. We are working on a long-term plan to warehouse food and supplies. Our focus is making sure the children are taken care of and safe.
Nationwide, the situation is going from bad to worse. Reports from Arequipa demonstrate a drastic reduction in tourism – with only 1 out of every ten hotel beds occupied. According to the Lima Chamber of Commerce, over 1 million formally employed workers risk losing their jobs. This an alarming statistic when one considers that more than 70% of the workforce in Perú employed in the informal sector of the economy.
We will keep you posted as more information is available. Please keep all the people of Perú in your thoughts, prayers, meditations, and considerations.
Perhaps now, more than ever – we could use your support. Please consider donating the work of our Casa Girasoles. Thanks.