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After Covid-19 hit Peru, he walked hundreds of miles to the house



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Tambo and his daughter first came to the Peruvian capital from a remote village in the Amazon rainforest, so the oldest, Amelie, could become the first family member to attend the university.

The 17-year-old teenager has won a prestigious scholarship to study at Lima’s Universidad Científica del Sur, and the family has big dreams. They will rent toilets, help Amelie get started and Maria will collect money working in the restaurant.

But when Covid-19 hit Peru, the country stopped. More than 70 percent of people work in the informal economy, and when the country’s government begins to impose tight locks, Tambo witnesses job opportunities disappear.

After almost two months of quarantine, they have no more money to pay for rented rooms or food. Tambo decided to return to their village in the Ucayali region, 350 miles away.

With public transportation closed, the only option is to travel by foot. “I know the danger of putting my children in, but I have no choice,” he said. “I die trying to get out of here or starve to death in my room.”

Escape from the city

I met Tambo, 40, through the WhatsApp group where thousands of Peruvians talked about how they would leave Lima to return to their homes. “I haven’t left my house since the government announced quarantine,” he said. “But I don’t have money anymore.”

He agreed to let me follow him on a dangerous journey, to tell his story, not sure what the outcome would be.

Tambo and his daughter left Lima in early May. He wore a face mask and carried a baby Melec on his back along with a large multi-colored backpack sprinkled with a small heart. Seven-year-old Amelie and Yacira walked with great difficulty by their side, bringing their own packages. A pink bear hangs on Yacira’s backpack.

Maria Tambo, left, resting with her children, Melec, Amelie and Yacira.
Their family is not alone. Thousands of other Peruvians are on the road, desperate to escape from a pandemic and loss of income.

Their epic journey, along dusty highways, railroad tracks and dark rural roads, will take the people of Tambos through the high Andes before they reach the Amazon rainforest – a dangerous route for a woman traveling alone with three child.

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Walking in the heat, hour after hour, we watched them move on. Water and food are scarce, raw Tambo emotions. She cried when she sang softly to her baby Melec. “There is no way, you make your own way,” he murmured.

There were times of goodness and relief when they broke up the journey by riding a few rides along the road. A driver throws food at them as he passes. But most of the time, Tambo and his daughter walk.

Peruvians shout for oxygen because coronaviruses take their toll

On the third day, as they fought in thin air near the Andes, 15,000 feet above sea level, we saw a truck driver feeling sorry for the family, giving them a ride to the next town and sharing their food. “I’ve walked so much,” he told the driver, trying to hold back tears of gratitude.

It was a short pause for their feet. “My daughter’s hand turned purple,” he said. “I don’t think he will succeed.”

Checkpoints along the road

The return journey involves more than endurance. Tambo must also navigate a police checkpoint set up to prevent residents of Lima, the country’s coronavirus center, from spreading the virus to rural areas.

Despite its difficult locking rules, Peru is already one of the most severe countries in the world from the Covid-19 pandemic, with more than 230,000 cases diagnosed and more than 6,800 deaths to date. Experts believe the number could be higher, and the hospital system has been strained to deal with a pandemic.

In San Ramon, just before Tambo entered the forest, we watched a police officer interrogate him. “You can’t pass here with children,” the clerk said. Tambo negotiated with him. “I will only return to my farm, in Chaparnaranja, where I have been for a week.”

Peru seems to do everything right. So how did it become a Covid-19 hotspot?

It is a lie. He could not tell the clerk that he was from Lima, or he would not let him continue his journey.

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But the tired mother survived. He did what he had to do to survive, he told us. The virus is not as scary as dying from starvation.

After seven days and nights, and 300 miles of travel, Tambo and his children made it to their home province, Ucayali region, where the native Ashaninka also lived.

A final obstacle lies in their path – entry into the area is prohibited due to viruses.

“What will happen if an infected person enters? How do we escape?” one of the local Ashaninka leaders told us. “The only respirator we have is air. Our health center has nothing to fight the virus.”

But Tambo was determined. He negotiated with local leaders and was allowed to go home – on condition he and the children were exiled for 14 days.

They arrived at night, Tambo overwhelmed when the family dogs ran to greet them. He knelt and cried, thanking God for taking him home, when the animals wagged their tails and touched the baby on his arm.

When tears flowed, her husband, Cafeteria, and father-in-law emerged from the darkness.

There is joy but distance. Nobody can touch. Nobody can hug because of a virus.

“It’s very difficult, we suffer a lot,” he told them through his tears.

“I don’t want to go to Lima anymore. I think I’ll die there with my girls.”

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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