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The small Cconchaccota lagoon has been the axis of life in Vilma Huamaní's community high in Peru's southern Andes. It was a source of trout, fun for children eager to swim, beauty as flamingos flew from over the mountains and water for thirsty sheep. Nowadays, though, all Huamaní sees of the lagoon is a plain of cracked and broken soil surrounded by yellow grass. The rainy season in this part of South America should have started in September. But the area is experiencing its driest period in almost a half century, affecting more than 3,000 communities in the central and southern Andes of Peru.

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Girls play with a block of ice pieced togehter from sleet that fell the day before on the Cconchaccota community, in the Apurimac region of Peru, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. Peasants of the Andes in various regions of Peru and Bolivia are praying for rain amidst an ongoing drought. (AP Photo/Guadalupe Pardo)

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A family walks in the rain in search of shelter on Sept. 27, 2022, after Hurricane Ian flooded their home in Pinar del Rio, Cuba. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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Dirk Russell, who has medical issues, lies on the sofa in his waterlogged home, which was flooded in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, on Pine Island, Fla., on Oct. 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

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A teacher dries out books at a school that was heavily damaged by Hurricane Ian in La Coloma, in the province of Pinar del Rio, Cuba, on Oct. 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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Members of Florida Task Force 2 urban search and rescue gain access to a home through a broken upper window to confirm the home is clear of people and human remains, a week after the passage of Hurricane Ian, in Fort Myers Beach, Fla., on Oct. 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

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A fallen tree damaged Ezekiel Baptist Church on West End Street, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, in Eutaw, Ala., following a severe storm the day before. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

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Sagewood Appartments at 940 West End Street, saw major damage from Tuesday night's severe weather, with the roof of one building torn off and much the second level destroyed, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, in Eutaw, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

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Winter clouds hover the East Harbor of Pass Christian, Miss., on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022, before a winter storm. (Hunter Dawkins/The Gazebo Gazette via AP)

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A tractor cleans Harrison County Beaches in Pass Christian, Miss., before a winter storm comes on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. (Hunter Dawkins/The Gazebo Gazette via AP)