Friday, April 7, 2017

A return to the village of Los Bances

Our return trip to the village of Los Bances this morning was an enjoyable one, but before we get into the visit some comments about the journey to get there seem appropriate.

Riding through the cities of Tucumè and Mochumi it quickly became evident that those towns and the surrounding area were hit much harder by the floods than Chiclayo was. Many of the roads including the main highway were washed away, leaving only rutted, muddy passageways. In both towns on both sides of the street there were many lots containing piles of rubble where businesses and houses recently stood. In the Tucumè cemetery the bottom row of the above-ground tombs is under water. We were told that the city has been pumping water out of the cemetery since the rain stopped two weeks ago.

In the countryside, small creeks and canals had reached heights of more than 15 feet above their normal state. Most of the bridges, maybe 10 to 12 feet in length survived but are in need of urgent repair. The gravel roads are pockmarked and in places impassable.

This photo shows the main (only?) intersection in Los Bances. A building in the center and two on the left collapsed. The pronoei we visited today is the most distant building in the center of the photo.

Despite all the recent hardships it was a cheery group that greeted us this morning. Martha (on the left in the group ) seems pleased with her new classroom. She has more room than in the previous quarters, and she needs the extra space because she has 20 students this term as opposed to 13 last year.The name of the pronoei is Manitos Traviesas; in English 'naughty little hands'.

Martha has one table and two wooden chairs for her 20 kids. She has asked us for five tables and 20 chairs. She would also like some puzzles and books to accommodate the additional students. She still has those we donated last year, and the whiteboard and storage shelves. The estimated cost for 20 chairs is $340. For 5 tables it is $100. Puzzles and books will be about $60. The total is $500.

The good news is that, with the money from donations carried over from last year and donations received so far this year we already have enough to pay for this project. To anyone who may have been thinking about donating to Promesa Peru this year, please hold on to your money until we need it for a future project. And there will be future projects, perhaps as soon as next week.


  1. Hi there, thank you very much for the information. I am glad things are getting better in Chiclayo. I have a question for you. I am going soon to Chiclayo, in late June. Which parts of Chiclayo would you recommend to live in? With a small child. I really have no information about the different neighborhoods. Thank you in advance....

  2. Hi expat girl...welcome in advance to Chiclayo. If you intend to own a house and car I would suggest that you check out some of the newer gated communities springing up on the outskirts of town. The houses are not very expensive. If you're going to rent and use public transportation, my recommendations for urbanizations (neighborhoods) in the city would be Santa Victoria, Federico Villarreal, San Eduardo and Los Parques. These neighborhoods are as safe and quiet as any in Chiclayo.

  3. Thank you Tom, that is very helpful! Actually my expectations are being able to go buy fruits every morning, bread too, and being able to walk in the streets with my child and my dog during the day moslty. I enjoy little markets. I do not wish to have a car because I will use the public transportation when needed. Would you say my expectations suit the four urbanizations mentioned in your comment? You seem to say also that it is fairly safe and quiet, which is good news. Also, any recommendations about how it is best to find a suitable apartment to rent? Any ads in a newspaper I can see online?

    1. The neighborhoods I described all have one or more outdoor corner markets where you can buy fruits, vegetables, fish, chicken and other items. Every neighborhood has bakeries that sell bread and pastries. I don't know of any online ads for apartments. I goggled 'Chiclayo apartments for rent' in English and Spanish and got a few hits but didn't look at them. Also try Most people in your situation come to Chiclayo; rent an inexpensive hotel room and then walk the streets looking for 'se alquila' signs, and asking local small business owners if they know of anything. The Sunday edition of the paper La Industria often has many apartments for rent. Of course you need to speak Spanish to do what I am advising. The dog may be a problem in renting a hotel room and an apartment. Good luck.