A fisherman’s fight against COVID-19
For the past five years, Nature and Culture International has worked with fishermen in Piura, Peru to protect one of the most biodiverse marine ecosystems in the world. Now more than ever, it is the people of Piura – our partners in conservation – who need our help.
For Marcelino Gonzales, COVID-19 changed everything. Instead of spending his days fishing and with friends and family, Marcelino is fighting to keep his community safe.
Marcelino is from the rural fishing community Ñuro, in Piura, Peru. His community depends on tourism and fish sales. Because of the pandemic, both are practically nonexistent.
In the midst of an economic crisis, what worries Marcelino most is the spread of COVID-19 in his community. “The challenge is so great that we do not have the slightest bit of security in health matters. We are not prepared if a case should come, we would not know where to go, ” said Marcelino.
The community has been in desperate need of basic provisions like soap, masks, thermometers, and food, and is far from government and healthcare services. The closest hospital, located about 20 miles north, is already full with COVID-19 patients.
Concerned that the virus will reach Ñuro, Marcelino and other fishermen have organized to restrict entry and exit into their community. Wearing uniforms and homemade masks, the fishermen patrol 24/7 to keep their families safe. They know the spread of COVID-19 to Ñuro would be devastating.
Thanks to your support during Nature and Culture’s COVID-19 relief campaign last week, Marcelino and his community are now receiving help they so desperately need.
Your gift and funds from the Walton Family Foundation are supplying Nature and Culture’s community partners in Piura with essential equipment, including 500 masks, four digital thermometers, a fumigator, 20 gallons of bleach, and 20 gallons of soap.
“Even in these moments, Nature and Culture has supported us. We are very grateful,” said Marcelino.
Communities like Marcelino’s are the last defense for many endangered ecosystems. Thank you for sending help to nature’s guardians. You are making a difference for these communities, and for the planet.