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Teacher carries students across river daily to get them to school

Professor carrega estudantes nas costas para atravessar rio

Twitter / La Latina Noticias

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Ricardo Sanches - published on 04/30/23

Teacher, himself the father of two, is "happy to do" it because he knows the importance of education.

Every day, the scene repeats itself at around 7:20 a.m. One by one, Ángel Carrasco — a primary school teacher — picks up five of his students and carries them one by one on his back across the San Juan River so they can go to school. He does the same half an hour later for three more students who need to cross a different river for the same purpose. Depending on local rainfall, the water may be shallow, but it runs swiftly and sometimes is more than two feet deep, so the children can’t cross safely on their own. 

The school where the teacher teaches is in Arequipa, Peru, and is located in the countryside, a region surrounded by natural geographical obstacles. When possible, the teacher asks passing vehicles to help him get the kids across, but it’s more the exception than the rule. He repeats the procedure in reverse when the school day is over.

Carrasco told the local press that the water is sometimes up to his waist. On days with strong currents, everyone has to hold on to ropes for safety. Occasionally it’s simply too dangerous to try.

“It’s something I’m happy to do, because the parents make an effort for their children to study. I’m also the father of two children and I wouldn’t want them to miss school due to some factor such as the weather,” explained Carrasco.

The teacher took the initiative to carry the students on his back to cross the river after noticing that they were missing a lot of classes because of the crossing. Many parents are unable to accompany their children because they are working on time.

In a tweeted video report (in Spanish) you can see the teacher ferrying students through the water:

More challenges and motivation

After crossing the river, the teacher and students have other challenges. The school they attend has only the most basic plumbing and no potable water, and no internet access, only electricity. However, the importance of education is greater than the obstacles and keeps the children going.

In fact, much of this inspiration comes from Ángel Carrasco himself, the heroic teacher who knows that his role often needs to go beyond the classroom.

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