Peru’s Youngest Mayoral Adviser
In 1996, Shining Path violence was ripping apart Peru. Like many others, Denisse Pariona Lunasco’s family fled to Huanta, the district capital.
Ten years later, 14-year-old Denisse was a sponsored child and president of the Children’s Parliament. This World Vision program equips children for leadership and community decision-making. Denisse thrived, even asking Huanta’s mayor for help in solving problems affecting local children.
Denisse now works at the municipal building as an adviser to Huanta’s mayor. At age 19, she was the youngest person elected as a mayoral adviser, not just in Huanta province, but in all of Peru. In her role, Denisse advocates on behalf of the area’s children and supports the mayor.
“Of course I want to be mayor,” she says. “I would like to be the first woman.”
Denisse is also studying accounting at a private university. She has her sights set on a master’s degree in finance and auditing, and maybe a law degree after that.
“I couldn’t have achieved what I’ve achieved if it hadn’t been for World Vision,” Denisse says.
Photo ©2014 World Vision, Eugene Lee
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