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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Smulders

Every little helps

If you have the privilege to travel, you can also do good

Last time we visited Peru, we decided we wanted to bring something back to the country. After learning that every year in Puno, children suffer from the freezing cold without access to heating and often not even proper clothing, we made a purpose to visit Puno to bring whatever we could to help. The kids put together their clothes in good condition and some of their favourite old toys to share all the way from Dubai.

The Lake Titicaca, Puno

With only weekends left in our journey, we decided to take a short trip to travel to Puno for a couple of days. We thought it was also a good opportunity to see the Lake Titicaca and staying at the floating islands was a big dream to us.

As soon as we landed, one of us fell ill. Fortunately, tea made things better and we were soon on our way to the Uros. At our arrival to one of the small islands, Suma Qhantany lodge, Mrs Delia welcomed us with a warm soup, and we took a little trip around the lake learning about the famous “Totora”, local reed which grows in the area and the many uses they have for it in the area.

The day was slow, but also our bodies. As the day ended, we started feeling heavy and gasping for air. The kids couldn’t eat as they felt dizzy and suddenly, we were all ready to sleep.

Uros Qhantany lodge

Early in the morning, our plans to fish in the lake were soon abandoned as we had not improved and needed to leave to a hospital in Juliaca. The family hosting us at the Uros was quick to take us back to the main island and a helpful taxi driver changed his route to take us there. After a one-hour drive, we arrived to the American hospital in Juliaca where the kids received oxygen and shots as they couldn’t stop feeling sick.

Our flight back to Lima was on the same evening, so after taking a couple of hours to recover, we decided to make our way to “the original purpose of our trip”. Thanks to the support of organisations like Juguetependiente and Kusimayo that do a great job in helping communities and people in Peru we found a small community which was in need of support.

Mrs. Martina and her six children were thrilled to see us, and the kids’ faces when receiving the warm clothes made all the altitude sickness and challenges worthy.

Meeting Mrs Martina and her children in Juliaca

If you have the privilege to travel, you can also do good. Find local organisations that you can support in any way (even if small). Sometimes, buying in local independent businesses goes a long way.



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