Senior travels to South America for mission trip


Susan Crocker

Sophia Libonate upon arrival at Asuncion, Paraguay on Sept. 7.

Senior Sophia Libonate visited Paraguay for an Operation Smile volunteer mission after the first week of school.

Since 2005, Operation Smile has completed more than 1,600 treatments to children with deformities like cleft lips and cleft palates. The organization has been able to provide care for the patients due to the extensive volunteers and involved students. Students on international trips serve the role of informing the patients and their families on the operation and organization.

“The Operation Smile students inform the patients by presenting healthcare modules we are taught in mission training,” said Sophia.

Sophia has been involved in the organization for years, but this is the first mission trip she participated in for Operation Smile.

“I’m glad that what we do can put smiles on people’s faces,” said senior Jondre Macaraeg.

Jondre has been heavily involved alongside senior Shreya Raj and Sophia.

“Jondre and Shreya have been on a mission trip already, but this was my first one, and I was partnered with a student from Salem High School,” said Sophia.

Sophia has also been involved in national and local events.

“I’ve done work with Operation Smile starting in elementary school with the Final Mile,” said Sophia.