Home away from home: Los Lomas, Peru

Teacher+Brett+Ahlgren+and+PVHS+Students+%28left+to+right%29+Bell+Lubken%2C+Carter+Cline%2C+Kayla+Nutt+and+Ramya+Subamaniam+on+their+mission+trip+to+Peru+this+August.
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Home away from home: Los Lomas, Peru

Teacher Brett Ahlgren and PVHS Students (left to right) Bell Lubken, Carter Cline, Kayla Nutt and Ramya Subamaniam on their mission trip to Peru this August.

Teacher Brett Ahlgren and PVHS Students (left to right) Bell Lubken, Carter Cline, Kayla Nutt and Ramya Subamaniam on their mission trip to Peru this August.

Stephanie Risius

Teacher Brett Ahlgren and PVHS Students (left to right) Bell Lubken, Carter Cline, Kayla Nutt and Ramya Subamaniam on their mission trip to Peru this August.

Stephanie Risius

Stephanie Risius

Teacher Brett Ahlgren and PVHS Students (left to right) Bell Lubken, Carter Cline, Kayla Nutt and Ramya Subamaniam on their mission trip to Peru this August.

Jack Donahue, Opinion Editor

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The Summer of 2019 for some PVHS students was spent completing multiple mission trips to Las Lomas, Peru to help kids in need. 

PVHS worked with Voices 4 Peru, an organization with a goal, as Stephanie Risius puts it,  “to help kids in a marginalized community recieve an education and provide safety from the dangerous and captivating streets.”

As one of PVHS’s spanish teachers, Risius and the PVHS have been working with Voices 4 Peru since 2016 to accomplish V4P’s main goal. Not only does PVHS send down donations, clothes, medicine, school supplies and other necessities, but the school provides multiple opportunities for students to take part in mission trips.

“It’s always neat and heartwarming to see Pleasant Valley kids help and bond with the children in Peru,” Risius explained, “Every year kids (from PV) come back from what was a life changing trip.” Addie Even, a senior, was one of PVHS’s many students that went on a trip this past summer. “To visually see how my donations impacted lives really did change me,” Even said, “I became so much more grateful for everything I have and learned to never take anything for granted.”

Specifically, one of the bigger projects Even and her peers helped out with was the after school programs. In order to keep the younger children of Las Lomas, Peru out of the dangers of drugs, crime and human tracking, Voices for Peru keeps the kids entertained with various games and activities funded by the donations they receive.

However, the effort and help doesn’t stop there. For the older students, Voice for Peru maintains a soccer club to help students receive scholarships in hopes to make college more affordable. With the average income of under $350 a month, college is extremely hard to afford and obtain. But with the help of the soccer scholarships, Voices 4 Peru is able to help a few people continue onto secondary education.

In 2019, PVHS sent students on a total of three trips: one in the spring and two in the summer. The students spend 10 days down in Peru, and while they do visit the capital, Lima, most of their time is spent helping the community in Las Lomas.

“Every year I go back because I have developed inseparable bonds with people and children I care for,” Risius said, “It truly is my home away from home.”