Citizens pioneering social and environmental action in Peru
In the Piura region, the Emmaus community is a key player in environmental action. They hold operating agreements with the local authorities, and even national authorities, to collect waste and scrap. The group has also long considered itself to be at the forefront of local citizen struggles, setting up a government-recognised nursery school in a very poor area where children previously had no access to education. The group also set up an affordable physical therapy centre. In addition, it is developing support initiatives for excluded women.
Collectively, the community decided to dedicate 30% of its income to social initiatives for the most vulnerable people in the region, providing food, clothing, and medicine, in addition to waging political battles. The Piura group was at the heart of a local campaign that caused the authorities to back down following an unofficial but large-scale consultation: 98% of the 300,000 votes cast were against the implementation of a huge mining project that would have threatened nearly 100,000 people.