Want to get money to the most in need during a pandemic? Don’t count on your government. Do it yourself.
Roque Sevilla, former mayor of Quito, Ecuador in the late 1990s, had an idea. The coronavirus was ripping through Guayaquil and then later into Quito, the nation’s capital. His concern was that the virus would spread into crowded and cramped inner cities, and — primarily — into the Amazon jungles where some 15 different indigenous peoples live along rivers.
A few months ago, when the pandemic was raging in Brazil, media reports about rising cases in Amazon villages ultimately led to concern about the indigenous Ecuadorians living in those regions. No one wanted to see these small communities wiped out, especially given the fact that the most impacted by the new SARS coronavirus are the elderly. The elderly are the leaders of these old tribes.
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