Students at DVSS are gearing up for an experience of a lifetime, heading to Peru for travel and service.
A group of 22 students from Grade 11 and 12 and five chaperones are getting ready to travel to Peru over the spring break. They have been planning it for about a year. While DVSS typically plans an international trip every two years. This one is a bit different.
“For a change, we wanted to make it a service trip,” explains teacher Angie Gill, who is spearheading the excursion. “We will be doing some kind of service project, which has yet to be determined, whatever is most needed, wherever we are going at the time.”
“I am also a counsellor, and I just really felt the need for our youth to experience a different culture that is not as advanced and not as wealthy. I felt there is a need for them to do some service work and put into perspective everything they are so privileged to have,” said Gill.
The trip is facilitated through Education First. It is a tour group that also offers service trips. These can only be in a few countries such as in Africa and central and southern America.
The service work could be virtually anything from education-related projects to construction or labour.
“They usually tell us about the service about a month before,” said Gill. “But they guarantee it will be a worthwhile project the community really needs.”
“Personally, I thought it would be cool to not only do the service trip but see some neat history like Machu Picchu,” said Gill.
She says the trip will offer a different perspective.
“I feel often in youth, there isn’t that worldly perspective, and trips to Europe, for example, are great for world history but I also just wanted it to involve a perspective on how fortunate we are.”
The students have paid for the trip, and part of the cost is funding the service project, but have begun a fundraising campaign to support some additional costs. This includes bussing to the airport, to cover additional COVID-related expenses such as PSR testing, and jackets so they can be identified as a group while on the trip. They are also planning on taking some items that can be donated in the communities they will be visiting.
“I have a fashion class and in preparation, we have actually made some items of clothing and items for donations to take with them down there. Our class has also made a bunch of toques and mitts they have donated to a Calgary Shelter,” said Gill.
The trip is from April 14-24, and approximately three days will be carved out for the service project.