March 21, 2017 Peru declared a state of emergency as rains fell upon many cities along the coast of Peru. The rains which flooded the cities also carried with them, mudslides. The coast of Peru is a desert climate and so the surrounding watersheds consist mostly of dry clay, dirt and mud. In ancient times, the Chimu people, precursor to the Incas, lived in the delta region of the Moche River. There they were able to settle as an agrarian society cultivating water from the river. While the river sustained the civilization, the Moche people were subsequently subject to its harsh climate conditions such as extreme draught and flooding. Today, the rains still pose a threat to the people who live in the region. Trujillo sits just a few kilometers from the Capital, Huaca del Sol y la Luna – and later Chan Chan developed by the Chimu.

Las Lluvias de Trujillo no pararon un día,

Hasta que se habia inundado, y se desperdicia

La ciudad de la eterna primavera

Y la bailarina de la Marinera.

***

Las Aguas que subieron y bailaban por pasajes,

parques y calles en corrientes fuertes.

Pisaron con ritmo, con fuerzas del cielo

Hasta el colapso de las avenidas con huecos y polvo

La gente abandonada para construir de nuevo.

Y las fantasmas del Chan Chan desde sus adobes reían

Los Caballitos de Totora fueron lo único que sobrevivieron.

The rains of Trujillo did not stop one day,

Until the city flooded, and so disapeared

the city of Eternal Spring,

and dance of the Marianera

***

The waters rose and danced along passages

and parks and streets by way of strong currents

They stomped out rhythm with a strength from heaven

Until the collapse of avenues, with holes and dust

The people were left to reconstruct

And the ghosts of Chan Chan from their Adobe huts laughed

Their boats – Caballito de Totora – were the only that survived

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