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Features / archives for : health, medicine


January 31, 2011 19:33:31

Five Peru plants and how to use them

By Jill Stansbury

Jill Stansbury with Blood of the Dragon, made from tree resin and used for healing wounds. 

I came to Peru four years ago to study South American plants. Being one of the most biodiverse places on the planet, I have not been disappointed.

After studying plants and medicinal plant chemistry for decades in the U.S., I recently reduced my university teaching in order to free myself to study the botanical treasures of the Peruvian Andes and Amazon.

While there are thousands of plants to discuss, following are five Peruvian staples, from hallucinogens to culinary condiments. One can hardly spend more than a few weeks here without running across all of these.

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January 12, 2011 12:29:18

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: Clean water to Peru's Amazon communities

This short film documents how House of the Children is working with traditional communities in Peru's rainforest to create natural sources of clean water and sanitation.


January 7, 2011 16:30:26

Canadian looks to raise $50K with 50 km charity run in Peru

A Canadian is launching a 50th birthday campaign to run 50 kilometers and raise money for water filters in Peru.

Tony Goodrow turns 50 on May 18, and he will spend it in the Andean country of Peru.

Don’t expect him to be visiting Machu Picchu, however. He will be running 50 kilometers (8 kilometers longer than a marathon) around the dusty slums of Lima, Peru’s capital city. And he is inviting his friends — sort of.

“If you’re coming to my party I want you to bring three water filters,” Goodrow said on a recent visit to Lima.

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November 19, 2010 19:01:19

Soul Man: An annual pilgrimage of giving in Peru's Andes

A street in Castrovirreyna in Peru's central Andes, at 4,000 meters above sea level.  (All photos by John Meils) See more photos.
By John Meils

“Every immigrant dreams of coming back to his country at one time or another,” says Luis Rebatta, founder of the non-profit Soul of the Peruvian Andes (SOPA). “Maybe we’re just fulfilling one of those dreams.”

For the past six years Rebatta has returned to Castrovirreyna, a high-Andean town of 3,000 people in the Huancavelica district with clothes, medical and dental supplies—and a team of doctors to administer them. He was born in nearby Chiris, a pueblo so small you can’t find it on most maps. His high school years were spent in Castrovirreyna before he moved to Lima and eventually immigrated to the United States, where he served in the U.S. Military during the Vietnam years. Afterwards, he went to college on the G.I. Bill, eventually earned an MBA and is now the president of a bank in Queens, New York.

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October 4, 2010 17:50:03

Kausay Wasi, a health clinic that serves rural poor in Cusco, Peru

Clinica Kausay Wasi is located in Cusco's Sacred Valley. (Photos by Rinda Payne)

By Rinda Payne

I had heard good reports about the Kausay Wasi Health Clinic at the hospital where I worked in Boston before I moved to Wanchaq, Peru. It was time to travel to Coya in the Sacred Valley to visit the clinic in person.

Guido and Sandra del Prado from the U.S. established the clinic in 2005 to serve the poor in the area as well as those living in isolated communities. Since it opened, it has provided health care to over 110,000 patients, many of whom walk for days or long hours over rough mountainous roads or ride in the back of trucks to get to the clinic.

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August 1, 2010 15:06:33

Fighting Chagas disease in Peru's highland jungle

By Brooke Thurman

As a Colorado native who loves the mountains, I figured I would not have too much trouble with fieldwork in the highlands of Peru.

 See more photos of the Chagas project in Peru.
However, after three and a half hours of walking straight up the Andes, I had to admit I was tired. And we had not even begun the real work.

When I started my year in Peru as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, I had no idea that I would end up trekking through mountainous jungle to collect blood samples. However, becoming involved in this Chagas disease research project has proven to be one of the most interesting and rewarding experiences of my life.

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July 23, 2010 13:50:12

Mothers become community educators to combat child malnutrition in Peru project

By Iana Málaga,
El Comercio
Adapted from Spanish by Diana Schwalb

Up until three years ago in a community in Ancash, Peru, most mothers who recently stopped breastfeeding didn’t understand the importance of attending their prenatal checkups and incorporating solid food with high iron content in their children’s diet. The lack of education regarding nutrition, health and hygiene made many women lead a way of life that generate chronic malnutrition in their children as well as respiratory problems.

After analyzing this problem, in 2007 the Altamina Mining Fund designed the Ally Micuy project (Quechua for “good food”), which seeks to reduce chronic malnutrition and child anemia.

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July 19, 2010 10:58:27

How can I get safe water in Peru?

By Marie and Jaime Alvarez-Calderon

Clean water from the tap in Peru? Yes. Continue reading to find out how.
One admonition that everyone visiting Peru should heed is “Don’t drink water from the tap.” I don’t blame Peru: The same could be said for water in any number of countries around the world. The problem seems to stem from a variety of sources. Although most tap water is chlorinated at its source, the water distribution and storage systems often allow entry of unwanted materials. One look into the water storage tanks of most apartment buildings would make most of us run for the water bottle.

But as time goes on, most of us grow tired or purchasing all those bottles or boxes of water. There is the never-ending frustration of lugging all that weight back to the house or apartment, not to mention dealing with the resulting discarded containers. Then there is the cost, which can run into the hundreds of dollars a year per person. But what are the alternatives?

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July 16, 2010 11:38:46

Clowns descend on slums of Iquitos, Peru to offer joy and bright paint

International clown volunteers arrive in August for the yearly Belen Festival, a community development project in an impovershed district in Iquitos, Peru.

Clowns descend on slums of Iquitos, Peru to offer joy and bright paint
Clowns from Gesundheit! Institute, the organization founded by Patch Adams, paint houses with community members in Iquitos, Peru's largest Amazon city. (All photos by John Glick)

By John Glick
Director, Gesundheit Global Outreach

The 5th Annual Belen Festival in Iquitos, Peru will be celebrated Aug 4-14, 2010 as 100 clowns from around the world join the people of Belen and local organizations to promote health and happiness through art, play, healthcare, education and collaborative volunteer work.

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May 31, 2010 9:29:25

What I learned from a visit to the tailor in Lima, Peru

By Larry J. Pitman

This is a story about how going to a tailor in Lima, Peru changed my life. Let me explain.

Larry Pitman, livinginperu.comWhen I was a boy, my mother was always telling me to stand up straight. This irritated me. At the time, it seemed that she was continually nagging me about this. In truth, I had zero motivation to comply with her directives. You see, I was lazy, and standing straight required effort. Moreover, it was uncomfortable.

So, my attitude was firmly in place, and that is pretty much how it remained for the next fifty or so years.

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