Jerusalem Report

Amazonian Aliya

A community uproots from the Peruvian rainforest and finds a home in Israel.

Carlos (left) and Gabriel del Aguila and their mother Gloria Villacis
Photo by: Miriam Alster
Carlos del Aguila Villacis, 19, running his hand over the top of his tapered hairstyle – cropped close on the sides, with a swath of longer hair on top – popular among young Israeli males of a certain age. “Ever since I was little, I used to play I was an Israeli soldier.”

While it may not seem like such a strange wish for many young Jewish boys, Del Aguila (“from the eagle” in Spanish) was doing most of his dreaming of the Israel Defense Forces in the Peruvian Amazon, in his hometown of Iquitos.

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