Anthropology Club Plans Coronavirus Relief Fundraiser for Indigenious People in Peru


Photo courtesy of The Anthropology Club’s GoFundMe page.

Claire Jeantheau '21, Staff Writer

The global spread of the coronavirus pandemic has touched thousands of communities, particularly disadvantaged ones which were vulnerable to exposure. Soon, Dickinson’s Anthropology Club will be helping the fight against those effects in Peru with a fundraiser. 

Club members Kitty Sheridan ‘22, Corrine Plunto ’24, and Emma Cole ‘24 hope to start a donation page early next week to benefit the Comando Matico, a group which assists indigenous peoples in Peru. According to Sheridan, approximately 25% of the Peruvian population identifies as indigenous.

The Comando Matico…[is] a group that utilizes traditional medicine” to reduce the virus’s symptoms, “specifically with the intention of helping their own people and other indigenous populations which haven’t been give much help from the Peruvian government,” Sheridan explained in a written response.

The idea came out of the research of Assistant Anthropology Professor Amalia Pesantes, which focuses on health disparities among vulnerable peoples, as well as care that addresses patients’ cultural and medical traditions. Sheridan, Plunto, and Cole first learned about Comando Matico during Pesantes’s presentation on her work this fall. It was through the professor’s contact with the group that they were able to set up the fundraiser.

The club currently doesn’t have a strict financial goal—Sheridan offered “about $1,000” as a good achievement. Rather, their main hope is to bring attention to the lack of access to health care for indigenous Peruvians. She added that the Dickinson community could help both by making contributions and sharing the donation page online, emphasizing the global value of participating in the fundraiser.

“This is not only a great cause that is extremely important to support during this pandemic, but also an amazing opportunity for Dickinson students to get involved with, especially since we’re not all physically together on campus,” Sheridan wrote. “This is also a unique chance for students to spread the word about this fundraiser, since we’re not only global students but global citizens, everyone can help out by sharing this project with the global community. Friends, family, teachers, peers, and so on.”

The group’s GoFundMe can be found here: Interested Dickinsonians can follow the organization’s Facebook and Instagram, or subscribe to its mailing list through EngageD, for updates.