Peru has begun to loosen quarantine restrictions. In most parts of the country, adults are allowed to leave their houses and can even travel between towns for the first time in months. Children under 14, seniors and people with compromised immune systems are advised to stay home. Borders remain closed.

The long lockdown has been devastating for many family incomes. In José Leonardo Ortiz, an impoverished urban district on the outskirts of Chiclayo, Centro Santa Angela is helping meet the needs of families who have not received government aid and have not been able to work during quarantine. Most of these families are headed by single mothers.

Centro Santa Angela has delivered food baskets, masks and cleaning supplies to 175 families in the district. “A huge thank you for thinking about our needs,” said one recipient. “Since the pandemic began, none of us have been able to bring daily sustenance to our homes. But somehow this whole situation has united us in mutual support of those who have the least.”

Man in mask delivering food to woman in mask.
Community leader delivers food.

This emergency project was funded from a generous donation by the Ursuline Sisters of Chatham. Local businesses also chipped in by donating or discounting products so Centro Santa Angela could reach more families than originally planned. Centro Santa Angela’s ecological program and its Leadership School, both financed by Heart-Links’ donors, made sure the food baskets got to the families most in need.

“It’s a gesture that shows what we are made of,” writes Zoila Burgos, of Centro Santa Angela. “Giving to those in need fills both the giver and the receiver with joy.” For Zoila, giving is at the heart of solidarity because it brings people closer together and humanizes us in each other’s eyes.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Peru have surged past 350,000, and more than 17,000 people have died. Peru currently ranks 6th worldwide for the number of people infected.