By South America Relief Team (Originally in Spanish)
In early 2012, unusually intense seasonal rains brought severe flooding to Bolivia’s Amazon lowland plains, washing out roads, inundating large areas of farmland, rendering approximately 9,000 families homeless, and causing several people to lose their lives. The northern Department of Pando bordering Brazil was the worst hit area, with much of the capital city Cobija being left under water. Also affected were neighboring regions in the Peruvian and Brazilian Amazon.
To render aid to those affected, Supreme Master Ching Hai immediately provided a US$40,000 relief fund and asked our Association members to go to the region. Initiates from Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay then formed a relief team and set off for Cobija, Bolivia on February 27. With assistance from the city's civil defense department and the army, the team quickly distributed 800 bags of rice to people in need, along with candy for the children and crackers for stray dogs in the cities of Cobija, Puerto Rico and El Porvenir and the region of Bolpebra.
The mayor of Bolpebra personally drove the team for three hours on muddy roads to the native community of Central Indígena de Pueblos Originarios de la Amazonia (Indigenous Headquarters of the Original Amazonian Peoples) or CIPOA, in the remote city of San Pedro, where they were warmly welcomed by the residents. The team members were deeply touched by the chief’s sincere expressions of thanks, which reflected the people’s pure, noble hearts.
In Brazil, with help from the Assis City Social Assistance Department office staff, the team distributed 80 bags of food to the most affected people, and in Peru, 150 bags in Iñapari, Tahuamanu Province, Madre de Dios Department. The Mayor of Iñapari, Mr. Celso Curi Paucarmaita, read a warm letter he had written to Master, thanking Her for Her generous support. “Your Excellency Supreme Master,” he wrote, “I have the pleasure to address you….. to express our everlasting appreciation for your voluntary support to contribute for the people who have been affected by the floods which took place this year on February 16, 17 and 18 in this region of the planet.”
All during the relief effort, the team members could feel the strong presence of Master’s love and protective power, and felt honored and happy for the opportunity to convey Her love to our brothers and sisters most in need.
Thank-you letter from Mr. Celso Curi Paucarmaita, Mayor of Iñapari city