LIFESTYLE

Poor man's Venice takes hold of Peruvian community
From January to June, water overflows from a river that feeds the Amazon, flooding the northeastern jungle community of Belen, which is part of the city of Iquitos, drastically changing life for its estimated 16,000 inhabitants.
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In this April 19, 2015 photo, children play on a boat in the water outside their homes in the Belen neighborhood of Iquitos, Peru. This impoverished Peruvian Amazon community nicknamed Ć¢Venice of the JungleĆ¢ lives half the year on the water, with canoes replacing motorcycle taxis as the most popular form of transport. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

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In this April 19, 2015 photo, Dario Tamani, 10, fishes inside his home, flooded by the rising of the Itaya river in Belen, a neighborhood nicknamed Venice of the Jungle in Iquitos, Peru. From January to June, water overflows from a river that feeds into the Amazon, flooding the northeastern jungle community of Belen and drastically changing life for the community. Water is everywhere, making it possible to even fish from inside some houses through a hole in the floor. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

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In this April 19, 2015 photo, boats float anchored outside homes on a rainy afternoon in Belen, a neighborhood nicknamed "Venice of the Jungle" in Iquitos, Peru. So homes don't flood when the Rio Itaya spills over its banks, homes here are constructed three meters above ground, sustained by stilts of rough wood collected from the jungle. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

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In this April 20, 2015 photo, motorcycle taxis move around the street market in Belen, an Amazon community nicknamed Venice of the Jungle, in Iquitos, Peru. Many inhabitants of Belen work in a market in a nearby area that never floods, selling shad and other fish they catch in the river. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

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In this April 20, 2015 photo, siblings Piero, Ariana and Priscila eat a lunch of fish, bananas and rice as their parents sell fish at a street market in Belen, a neighborhood nicknamed Venice of the Jungle in Iquitos, Peru. According to official statistics, 40 percent of the children in Belen suffer from malnutrition and 66 percent of the entire population is poor. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

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In this April 19, 2015 photo, children fish from their home sitting just above the water line in the Belen neighborhood of Iquitos, a community in Peru's Amazon nicknamed "Venice of the Jungle." Along with the homes, the community boasts a Roman Catholic and various evangelical churches. It even has bordellos, discoteques, lumber mills and casinos. Many inhabitants work in a market in a nearby area that never floods, selling shad and other fish they catch in the river. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

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In this April 20, 2015 photo, Milagros Chumbe washes clothes inside her flooded home in Belen, an Amazon community nicknamed Venice of the Jungle, in Iquitos, Peru. Sixteen members from three different families live at the home, currently flooded by the rising of the Itaya river. During the rainy season, mothers keep a close eye on toddlers just learning how to walk to ensure they dont fall in the water, and the local press reports on one or two children drowning each year. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

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In this April 19, 2015 photo, a girl hangs from the foundation of her home in Belen, an Amazon community nicknamed Venice of the Jungle, in Iquitos, Peru. School-aged children are ferried to class in small boats, and they often swim and play in the water after they get home. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

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In this April 20, 2015 photo, a Catholic church is surrounded by the rising waters of the Itaya river in Belen, an Amazon community nicknamed Venice of the Jungle, in Iquitos, Peru. Along with the homes, the community boasts a Roman Catholic and various evangelical churches. It even has bordellos, discoteques, lumber mills and casinos. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

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In this April 20, 2015 photo, benches float in a classroom inside the half-flooded San Jose school due to the rising of the Itaya river in Belen, a neighborhood nicknamed Venice of the Jungle in Iquitos, Peru. This Amazonian Venice draws a lot of tourists who arrive in boats during the watery season, but the community is a lot less picturesque for the people who live there. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

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In this April 20, 2015 photo, Graciela Shuna, 33, sits outside her home with her four-month-old twins, Mia, right, and Galena in the Belen neighborhood of Iquitos, Peru. In this Amazon community nicknamed Venice of the Jungle, mothers keep a close eye on toddlers just learning how to walk to ensure they dont fall in the water, and the local press reports on one or two children drowning each year. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

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This April 20, 2015 photo shows the lower area of Belen, an Amazon community nicknamed Venice of the Jungle, in Iquitos, Peru. The community is afflicted by various ills. According to official statistics, 40 percent of the children in Belen suffer from malnutrition and 66 percent of the entire population is poor. Perus Health Ministry says inhabitants commonly suffer from respiratory illnesses, as well as frequent diarrheic sicknesses caused by people and animals defecating too close to the river. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

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In this April 19, 2015 photo, children play in the flooded streets of the Belen neighborhood in Iquitos, Peru. Life in this Amazon community nicknamed Venice of the Jungle changes from July to December, when the Itaya river retreats to its lowest level and summer heat spreads across the zone, drying out the streets. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

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In this April 19, 2015 photo, Maximo Sangama fixes lunch for his four children inside his flooded home in Belen, an Amazon community nicknamed Venice of the Jungle, in Iquitos, Peru. omes here are constructed three meters above ground, sustained by stilts of rough wood collected from the jungle, but some still get flooded but he rising Itaya river during the rainy season. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

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In this April 20, 2015 photo, a man unloads boats full of bananas to sell at the street market in Belen, an Amazon community nicknamed Venice of the Jungle, in Iquitos, Peru. Due to seasonal flooding in Belen, the government has offered to relocate the community on a piece of land 20 kilometers (12 miles) away, but while about half of the community members support the idea, the rest say that the proposed area is too far away from the market where they work. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

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In this April 19, 2015 photo, the Lopez Vazquez family eats lunch outside their home, standing just barely above the rising Itaya river at the entrance of Belen, an Amazon community nicknamed Venice of the Jungle, in Iquitos, Peru. Life here will change from July to December, when the Itaya river retreats to its lowest level. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Poor man's Venice takes hold of Peruvian community

From January to June, water overflows from a river that feeds the Amazon, flooding the northeastern jungle community of Belen, which is part of the city of Iquitos, drastically changing life for its estimated 16,000 inhabitants.

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