Covid-19 is dramatically affecting the Amazonian regions of Peru. Facing an overwhelming challenge, indigenous peoples’ organizations have deployed a networked response and a very agile reaction to the pandemic. They have self-organized crafting adapted logistics, developing crowd-sourced maps, putting together food chains among river communities, and recovering traditional knowledge on endemic plants with therapeutic value. They have isolated healthy communities and cared for convalescent persons when the local health system collapsed. We can observe that although there is a disproportionate effect of Covid-19 on indigenous communities, their self-organization has proven essential as public subnational health systems and social services were completely overwhelmed by the pandemic. This research focuses on the region of Ucayali, which has been severely hit by the pandemic. It asks: What are the particularities of the Amazonian indigenous organizations’ response to the urgent and longer-term effects of the pandemic? It aims at analyzing and making explicit the potential that contemporary indigenous networks have to build resilience in the face of complex global health challenges.
Assistant Professor, Social Sciences Department, Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru