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IPFS News Link • World News

In Peru's Amazon, 'forgotten' tribes discover COVID-19 as vaccines arrive

•, By Sebastian Castaneda

"We didn't know about COVID-19. This is the first we are hearing about it," Quisto said through a translator from the village of Mangual, in Peru's vast but sparsely populated Loreto region in the country's north.

Reuters arrived with government health workers and International Red Cross members in Quisto's Urarina indigenous community, after a three-day boat ride along rivers starting from the Amazonian city of Iquitos, the world's largest metropolis that is unreachable by road.

In Mangual, the village highest up the river, residents hunt and fish for food and live in wooden stilt houses with no electricity. Connection with the outside world is minimal and the local language developed in isolation over centuries.

"Brigades haven't come here in many years. These communities are really forgotten," said Gilberto Inuma, president of Fepiurcha, an organization advocating for Urarina rights.

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