Grand Circle Foundation has partnered with OnePlanet to support the Maijuna tribe in Peru since 2018. Coronavirus is having a devastating impact on Indigenous peoples throughout the Amazon. Indigenous communities are extremely vulnerable to the pandemic due to persistent inequality, discrimination, and lack of access to health care.

With a total population of only 600, the Maijuna are one of the smallest and most vulnerable Indigenous groups in the Peruvian Amazon. When the pandemic first struck Peru, OnePlanet sprang into action and worked with the Maijuna to keep their four communities closed, become educated on the virus and the importance of isolation, and reduce the difficulty of sheltering in place.

Funding provided two months of food and supplies to 104 families in the four Maijuna communities (Sucusari, Nueva Vida, Puerto Huamán, and San Pablo de Totolla) to allow them to shelter in place. We also provided pandemic prevention and relief kits to each community, which included lifesaving medicines, medical supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE), educational materials, and gasoline for emergency medical transport. In addition to helping families in the four Maijuna communities, we also provided food and supplies to an additional 71 Maijuna families that live in the city of Iquitos and the towns of Mazán, El Estrecho and Tutapishco.

All of these materials and supplies helped the Maijuna get through the beginning of the pandemic when things were especially dangerous, precarious and unknown. And, although the virus has now made it to the Maijuna communities (like most other parts of the world), we are very happy to report that no Maijuna individuals have perished from COVID to date, which is a testament to the success of the prevention and relief efforts that we were able to implement together with the Maijuna. In partnership with OnePlanet, we will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide pandemic relief and support as needed to Maijuna families and their communities.

We will continue to help support the health and well-being of the Maijuna, and  are committed to getting back to work on our other community-based projects to help them become more financially stable. One Planet is developing comprehensive plans with the Maijuna communities to safely and securely make this happen.

This update was provided by Michael Gilmore, Executive Director, OnePlanet.