Juan Agustin (43) is also known in his native language as Rishin Bea. Last Monday 11 of May, Juan Agustin lost his nephew, who died with the symptoms of COVID-19. Juan was sad not to be able to carry out a funeral ritual for the deceased as is the tradition in the Shipibo-Conibo culture. He considers that the sanitary protocol imposed by the Peruvian government does not take into account the indigenous peoples’ cosmovision.
Pablo Faustino Diaz’s table, he is both a nurse and a traditional Shipibo-Conibo doctor from the community of Cantagallo Island. He uses eucalyptus leaves and tobacco as a preventive measure during the emergency period of COVID-19.
Ginger is known as « Isin Tapon» in their native language. They know this plant for its healing properties against colds and respiratory problems and are using it as a preventive measure for the COVID-19 virus.
Shipibo-Conibo women standing in line waiting to receive donations from the government as part of the emergency plan. Unfortunately they only received chopped and frozen carrots brought from South Korea.
Juan Agustin migrated to Lima about 40 years ago. He stands on top of a hill in his community: the Cantagallo Island. Juan Agustin is currently an indigenous leader, a certified interpreter by the Peruvian Ministry of Education and a professor at the Universidad Cayetano Heredia in Lima. During the state of Emergency, he has dedicated to inform his people in their native language through his media channel called Shipi-News.
Juan Alcides Clemente (12), is being treated with plants to control his body temperature and prevent fever. This plant is named » Boains » in their native language, or petiveria in English. It is also used for respiratory problems and is essential in the Shipibo-Conibo indigenous cosmology. They take refuge in their recipes of medicinal plants to prevent the symptoms of COVID-19.
The Peruvian government does not have a contingency plan to protect the Shipibo-Conibo indigenous communities against the COVID-19 virus in places where there is no medical attention. The indigenous people only have access to outposts where they can get pills for flu and fever. Their confidence lies in their traditional remedies and medicinal plants.
Robinson Malca Ramírez (30) a nurse from the Peruvian Health Ministry arrived to the Shipibo-Conibo indigenous community of Cantagallo Island. He helped on caring for the sick and in providing medical follow-up to the more than 2,000 indigenous people.
Bawan Jisbe or Elena Valera Vasquez (52) is a Shipibo-Conibo healer who has great knowledge about healing plants. She puts eucalyptus leaves inside her mask.
Early in the morning, the indigenous people of the community clean themselves with plant essences. Emerson Mejia Cruz (43), a Shipibo-Conibo man has his head blew with tobacco smoke as a preventive measure against the arrival of diseases such as COVID-19. According to Shipibo-Conibo cosmology, tobacco smoke is of great importance because it cleans the environment.
Residents of the Cantagallo Island community waiting in line for the free COVID-19 test.
Since Lima’s landscape is arid, there are very few trees in the community. They count on only 4 eucalyptus trees that they have adopted and adapted to their herbalist traditions in order to keep them safe against the COVID-19 virus symptoms.
Gabriel Senencina (50), prepares a set of plants to be set on fire in order to clean the environment inside the houses, as a measure of prevention to the COVID-19. According to Shipibo-Conibo cosmology, it is important to clean common environments with plant vapors.
Jheymi Mejia Mori (15) has his grandparents in a native community in the Peruvian rainforest. In Lima, every day they receive news of family members infected by the COVID-19 virus. It has reached isolated communities and the Peruvian government has not presented any contingency plan to protect them. Isolated in the Amazon, the communities have no health care located nearby. In addition, to reach the nearest city, Pucallpa, they must navigate the Ucayali River but there is no transportation during the state of emergency.
An elderly indigenous woman crowds into a group of women who speculate on the arrival of food supplies as government donations during the state of emergency.
Celinda Cahuaza (40). Her father taught her how to heal with plants. The memories she has of her father are like a database she consults when she wants to know about a plant based recipe. Since the isolation period has endangered the health of the Shipibo-Conibo, their confidence lies in their traditional remedies and medicinal plants against the COVID-19 virus.
As a preventive measure against the COVID-19 virus, a child bathes himself with the essence of eucalyptus. According to Shipibo-Conibo cosmology, the plant acts as protection.