From the hilltops in Marino Segovia, it was clear how widespread the destruction was. A long, winding row of exhausted residents snaked down a row, ending where a woman generously dealt portions of chicken soup to families.
Nearby, tents lined the shoulders of what was going to be a new highway. In one tent sat Natividad, a resident of the town tucked at the base of the Andes in Peru. She had her baby swaddled in her arms. With a shaky voice, she recalled the night her life changed forever.
“As my daughter was preparing for bed, she heard a startling noise and yelled for me,” says Natividad. “Frantically, I hurried over and peaked out the window to see a giant wall of water, debris and mud headed directly for our house.”
Natividad and her sister quickly grabbed their children, dog and belongings and ran for higher ground. The water and mud swept through their town destroying what families had spent a lifetime building.
For decades, townspeople did not worry about torrential rains or floods because there were dams and canals in place to protect them. However, the construction of a new highway that was intended to make life easier ended up doing more harm than good.
On this day, the sun sat behind the Andes Mountains as darkness enveloped what was left of the town. Children and families were reduced to sitting on uncomfortable cots within the confines of their small tents. Unable to see people just feet in front of them — the need for light was evident.
LuminAID, a partner of Convoy of Hope, provided more than 45 families with solar lights. The lights not only illuminated their tents, but also their smiles and provided a sense of relief many had been yearning for.
“These light are going to make life so much better — it is a blessing to my family that I never expected,” says Julio* with his two daughters standing by his side.
In addition to lights, Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services team provided food, clean water and hygiene kits for thousands of residents throughout Peru.
* Indicates name change for safety