“Caravan of Life” Documentary Launched in Peru

Peru - IOM Peru is this week launching a documentary showcasing La Caravana de la Vida (The Life Caravan), a project implemented between 2012 and 2014 that brought much-needed mobile health services to remote areas in the Amazon.

Peru is currently the 5th largest producer of gold worldwide and the largest in South America. But illegal mining is common practice in several regions of the country.  In Madre de Dios, a large region located in south-eastern Peru on the border with Brazil and Bolivia, the situation is especially worrying. An estimated 40,000 internal migrants flocked to the region in past years to work in the mostly illegal mining industry. 

In addition to the numerous ecological disasters that are taking place, many abuses are carried out against indigenous populations. Men, women and children are brought into the area to meet demand generated by the mining business and often end up being trafficked for sexual or labor exploitation.

Madre de Dios is the 3rd largest state in Peru, but the least populated with barely 1.3 people per square kilometer.  Many communities are extremely remote and it is estimated that there are only 9 doctors for every 10,000 inhabitants. 

Since 2009, IOM has worked closely with the regional government to combat trafficking in persons through the development of a regional action plan against human trafficking, information campaigns and the training of officials and educators.

In July 2012, IOM and the regional government of Madre de Dios signed a cooperation agreement to implement the Caravana de la Vida project in order to bring much needed health services to rural populations, while informing them about the risks of trafficking and how to report it to the authorities.

After two years of implementation, La Caravana de la Vida, entirely funded by IOM Peru, has provided assistance to more than 15,000 patients in 80 towns and villages in the Madre de Dios region.

“The communities that La Caravana de la Vida visits usually lack medical services or vital infrastructure.  Some people in the region have to walk several hours to the closest medical facility,” said Pamela Ramos, a nurse from the Caravana de la Vida team.   

IOM staff coordinating the project also provided training to 142 health service providers and 165 teachers and educators on trafficking and how to discuss the issue with youth in rural areas.  A well-known Peruvian actor, together with 72 young people from six schools also performed a play attended by over 4,000 people.

La Caravana de la Vida has been an extremely successful pilot project which should be extended in Madre de Dios and replicated in other regions of Peru.  Although the mining industry benefits the Peruvian economy, its negative impact must also be taken into account and mitigated through actions such this one,” explained José Iván Dávalos, IOM Chief of Mission in Peru. 

The documentary and introductory video can be viewed at:

The Life Caravan: Health on the Move (institutional video)  

Using Theater to Raise Awareness of Human Trafficking (documentary)

For more information, please contact

Jeremy Mac Gillivray

IOM Peru

Tel.: +51 1 633 0000 Ext. 125