Voracious rains, flooded rivers and mudslides are filling the streets of Peru taking homes, belonging and lives.
Now a group of Peruvians in New London are working to help flood victims.
"I cry a lot. Before we don't try to look at news because we need to make a group and help. It's the more important thing," said organizer Lizbeth Polo-Smith.
Polo-Smith moved to Connecticut from Peru 15 years ago. But it's still her home.
It's why she and her friends were motivated to start collecting supplies for the victims whose homes and belongings were ravaged by the flooding.
Polo-Smith's mom is still in Peru. The part that's not seeing much damage. But she's left with dirty water.
"She needs to put bleach in the water and boil and drink," Polo-Smith said.
People from all across the community, all races, all religions have been making donations to Centro de la Comunida on Blinman Street in New London. Thats where the group has set up.
There's canned goods, water, clothes, even kid-sized shoes in volunteer-packed boxes lining three rooms.
"We're all human beings and, of course, when something happens, we should give the little bit that we get," said Patricia Ruiz who moved from Peru in the early 1990s.
She has family in Lima, where she said the damage is not as bad.
"My heart breaks to see all the news from there," Ruiz said.
Polo-Smith said back in the 1970s her family was victim to an earthquake that destroyed part of her home. So she understands the devastation first-hand.
"I lost everything. But everybody lost the houses. Everything," she said.
Donations are welcome through Saturday at Centro de la Comunidad. The boxes will then be sent to NY, and then to Peru.
Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut