CFCA President Bob Hentzen and his wife, Cristina, arrived June 24 in Guatemala after completing Walk2gether, a nearly 8,000-mile walk through 12 Latin American countries to show solidarity with those living in poverty. Gerver Churunel from the Guatemala communications center sent us his reflection of the homecoming.
June 24: Over 500 CFCA employees from all regions of the Hermano Pedro project were at the airport to welcome Don Roberto (Bob) and Cristina. CFCA coordinators from other Central American communities were there, and they were surprised to see the amount of people waiting.
Finally Don Roberto appeared, and everyone sang. Teams showed so much joy, with hugs, cheers, songs, banners and percussion instruments. Some cried from excitement because the CFCA co-founder and his wife were returning home.
After the welcome, a caravan of buses made its way from the airport into “La Democracia” Park where the CFCA staff had planned many activities.
Each region conducted a chant when the pilgrims entered. Brother Jorge Armas, Hermano Pedro project coordinator, welcomed them. We had a party with “Guayac·n,” a band of marimba players; some musicians are CFCA scholars.
Everyone also enjoyed the more than 600 snacks prepared by mothers of CFCA students. Then the regions gave awards to thank Bob and Cristina for completing the walk.
The project also presented awards to Israel Itzol and Ricardo Ajpuac (Hermano Pedro staff) for their personal sacrifice along the walk; they were separated from their families for several months.
Bob said, “This walk is only the beginning. Our journey is to continue walking together with the poor and those in need.” Bob also stressed the importance of caring for our environment; he said he saw much pollution throughout his journey.
Cristina said, “We can all reach any goal in our lives, no matter the obstacles we encounter along the way; we can always reach our goal.”
June 25: About 15,000 sponsored friends and their families came to “La Democracia” stadium in Guatemala City to welcome Bob and Cristina with songs, applause, firecrackers and music. We had music, cultural events and a Mass of gratitude to God for having the Hentzen family back home.
June 26: In the morning, we traveled to greet other CFCA families in the Chimaltenango and Occidente regions (more than 4,000 sponsored friends and families). A choir of sponsored children and their mothers celebrated with songs, applause and shouts of joy. Families offered gifts to Bob and Cristina.
The caravan continued toward the Patz˙n region where around 2,000 sponsored friends and their families walked with us to a basketball court for more celebrations.
At that time the light morning rain became more intense, but it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of hundreds of sponsored friends and families waiting from the South and Solol· Regions, our next stop.
At the end of the day a countless multitude of CFCA families, both sponsored and non-sponsored from San Lucas Tolim·n, waited along the streets for the caravan and Bob.
The CFCA staff in San Lucas Tolim·n and Project Atitl·n welcomed the caravan with the inauguration of a park, called “Roberto y Cristina Hentzen.”
During the park’s inauguration, Bob, Cristina and the CFCA Central American coordinators planted 18 trees, representing 18 months of Walk2gether.
A photo was also revealed in honor of our founders (Bob and Cristina), accompanied with marimba music, rockets and fireworks.
We ended the celebrations with a Mass and thanksgiving dinner.