AYACUCHO, Peru --
There's an old Peruvian phrase that says, "Show me the facts; don't use words."
This was the intent of Dr. Luis Cabeña, Peru's Chief of Staff to the Minister of Defense, who visited the base camp and project sites for New Horizons Peru 2008, the U.S. Southern Command-sponsored program to bring humanitarian assistance to Peru, July 12 through 13.
After reading reports and stories about the New Horizons progress, Dr. Cabeña wanted to see the projects for himself. He walked away very pleased with the New Horizons mission.
"It's different from what you read in the newspapers or hear on the radio back in Lima when you see it yourself," said Dr. Cabeña through Capt. Aurelio Perez, Task Force New Horizons Liaison and Protocol Officer. "What the military is doing is a benefit to our country; they've worked in a professional manner and have shown dedication in their work."
During his two-day visit, Dr. Cabeña visited the New Horizons base camp, the school construction site at Yanamilla, the medical clinic construction site at San Cristobal, and flew in an U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook to Azangaro, where Navy Seabees are drilling a well.
"I'm glad I got the opportunity to be here," Dr. Cabaña said through Captain Perez. "Everything I've seen here is incredible and I will let (the Peruvian Minister of Defense) know the great things that are being accomplished here and that he should attend the closing ceremony in August."
The New Horizons task force viewed the tour as an opportunity to showcase their mission, and was pleased with the results of the visit.
"The task force was eager to show off their outstanding work," said Maj. Matt Joganich, Task Force New Horizons commander. "Hearing Dr. Cabaña's compliments and positive feedback on our projects only reinforces the goodwill we've experienced working with and for the Peruvian people."
New Horizons Peru 2008 incorporates a rotation of nearly 1,000 active duty, guard and reserve servicemembers from the Air Force, Navy, Army and Marines. During the three-month-long humanitarian mission, the task force will build two schools, three medical clinics, and two water wells, as well as host nine medical missions that will offer free medical care for the people of the Ayacucho region.
The overall New Horizons mission is an annual series of joint and combined humanitarian assistance to Latin America and Caribbean nations. These projects create a unique opportunity for the U.S. and partnering nations to work side-by-side to refine the skills of their militaries engineers, medical personnel and support staff through quality of life activities.
For more information about New Horizons, visit http://www.12af.acc.af.mil/library/newhorizons.asp