I talked with Rafael mid-morning yesterday and found out that people were clearing the roads at least partially. They are saying that the way will be open through the weekend.
I decided to grab a combi into town to see what I could find. Over half of the shops were still closed, but I did find one fruit store open and some vegetable places.
I haven’t been able to get any cash out of the bank the last couple of weeks, so we had only S/120 in the house. I was happy to use it all up on groceries.
The fruit and veggies are definitely a bit sad. The fruit lady gave me an extra kilo of bananas because she said they would go bad before she could sell them, but she knew all my children could use them. That was kind of her.
Not many people were out. Trucks filled with protesters rolled through town periodically, waving flags and yelling. I saw many more drunk people on the streets than usual.
I talked with a few folks, asking them their perspective. The store owners just want to be able to do business, it seems. On the combi ride back home, a heated debate broke out on the justice of community presidents forcing everyone in the community to protest on pain of S/100 fine per day.
What most of the people on the combi were saying is that they don’t want to protest, but they can’t afford the fines and they can’t lose their community-held property and house. The president and committee that runs each community can decide to simply strip the rights of a person to no longer be able to have property in the community. It’s a precarious situation.
What I’ve heard is that Cusco has mostly calmed down. The new president issued a state of emergency and ordered the military to enact peace. That seems to be having an effect in the cities in these southern regions.
Both the churches in Huaral and Puno report essentially no trouble in their respective areas. I’m glad they’ve had peace.
We are told that tomorrow will be open until early evening, then the community presidents have decided to restart the blockade on Monday for the week. We’ll see if that comes about.
I sensed in my brief conversations in town that people do not have the resources or tolerance for more protests that hurt the economy. All the Covid lockdowns have made people pretty hungry. Add to that one of the worst droughts in decades, and I expect the protests will fizzle out quickly.
We’re grateful to have some fruit and veggies for the next week. Rafael went to Cusco this afternoon and was able to make a withdrawal at the bank for me, so I hope to have cash again.
Carrying back about 40 kilos of food made me think back to early 2020 and made me thankful that I usually can haul food in the van. 💪🏼😁
We’re looking forward to meeting at church tomorrow. Alicia should be able to come, too. Edward was able to take the motorcycle and carry some food from us to Alicia. He was waylaid Thursday evening by protesters but went at 4:30 Friday morning and got through. Alicia was out of essentials like rice and flour that we were able to share.
As I type this out, I can hear music and either fireworks or guns going off in Inquilpata. We’re still not quite back to normal.