Each spring, Eleanore’s Project holds wheelchair clinics in two different locations in Peru. Since 2006, we have split our efforts between Yancana Huasy in Lima and Equip KIDS International in either Cusco or Arequipa. After 4 consecutive years of successful clinics in Arequipa, the area is becoming saturated with wheelchair programs in addition to Eleanore’s Project.
We’re committed to working in underserved areas, and the profusion of wheelchair providers in Arequipa led us to consider new clinic locations. Jorge and Sandra, Equip KIDS representatives in Peru, took it upon themselves to find new places in need of wheelchair services. After making a joint decision with them, today I can announce our new venture.
March 2012 will mark our first trip to Puerto Maldonado, Peru. This is an exciting step forward with our partners at Equip KIDS International because we’ll be laying the foundation for a wheelchair program in a region where no such resources currently exist. What does exist is a group of local government officials who have dedicated themselves to bringing more disability services to the area. We’ll support their efforts and share our occupational therapists’ expertise. We’re looking forward to setting a high standard for wheelchair provision in the the Puerto Maldonado region.
Puerto Maldonado is a city of about 90,000 people in the Amazon basin near the borders of Bolivia and Brazil. Located at the confluence of the Madre de Dios and Rio Tambopata rivers, it is one of the most far-flung outposts in Peru. Recently, construction of the new Trans-Oceanic Highway was completed. This new road will make transporting goods from Lima and coastal cities much faster and cheaper. Eleanore’s Project wheelchairs will reach Puerto Maldonado by this new highway.
Some facts about Puerto Maldonado:
- Founded in 1902 as part of a governmental expedition to explore the Peruvian rainforest
- Center of government for the Madre de Dios Department
- Average annual temperature is 79 degrees Fahrenheit
- The rainy season lasts from October to April (so we’ll be sure to have rain gear packed along!)
- Main industries include logging, eco-tourism and Brazil nut collecting
Come back for more updates as our 2012 expedition to Peru takes shape and we plan our first trip to the jungle.