Every summer since 2008, Guyer High School Spanish teacher Oscar Salas has traveled to Peru for a week of mission work around the city of Port Callao. The trip is sponsored by various churches around Denton, but teachers and students who are 18 years old or older are invited to go each year.
The missionaries’ work primarily involves physical repairs and bringing supplies to impoverished areas. This year, they plan to renovate clinics and churches, as well as build a pregnancy center for girls who need help. They also plan to assist various children’s homes and families struggling with disease or poverty.
“Where we’re going is a really poor area,” Salas said. “There’s no running water, for example. There are also a lot of families that have AIDS, and just really need a lot of help. We view our mission as a mission of support.”
Salas said the school year is spent collecting money and supplies for the trip. Students were able to participate by donating whatever items they could until Feb. 21.
“Most of what we do in the states is that we try to raise funds,” Salas said. “We also gather things such as medication to clothing to school supplies and on and on. Students can help by donating whatever items they can.”
Senior Jackie Peterson will also join the missionaries in Peru, after hearing about it in Salas’ Spanish class.
“When I heard how passionate Mr. Salas was about this trip, it made me very interested in going,” Peterson said. “I’ve never left the country before, and I really want to see what life is like in different circumstances. I think it’ll be an amazing experience for me.”
EDIE SCOTT is a senior at Guyer High School and a participant in the Denton Record-Chronicle’s “Speak Out Loud” program for student journalists.