Mar 11 2011

Walk2gether touches the tropics, rainforests of Bolivia

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Bob Hentzen recently wrote to the CFCA headquarters from the road in Bolivia. You can see the full update on his Facebook page.

Itís a pleasure to be in touch from Bolivia.

The going has been challenging with high altitudes, swollen rivers and steaming tropics. Yet each morning we have walked with confidence and wonder into the morning sunrise and enjoyed spectacular beauty of the rainforest.

We have been accompanied and inspired by walkers from different nations – devoted sisters from Poland and Colombia, volunteers from Switzerland and the USA, orphans and youth with different abilities, CFCA sponsors from Minnesota and Iowa.

Through these photos we offer you the smiles of our young people, the determination of our mothers and the joyful exhaustion of our walkers.

I thank you for your solidarity as we move on now to the CFCA projects in Brazil. We will enter Chile at Tambo Quemado on March 22. The Atacama Desert awaits us.

We ask for your prayers.
Bob

Walk2gether is now in Brazil. The walkers arrived there March 9.

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Mar 5 2011

Walk2gether plans visit to Mineiros, Brazil

Eutimia NevesWalk2gether will arrive in Brazil on March 9.

To commemorate Walk2gether, CFCAís project in Mineiros, Brazil, will conduct a small solidarity walk through the city streets, stopping at the plaza to watch artistic and cultural presentations by the sponsored children. They will visit the families CFCA serves and at night share a dinner of Brazilian food.

Eutimia Neves, coordinator of CFCAís Mineiros office in Brazil, shared these thoughts about the arrival of Walk2gether.

For my team and me, Walk2gether is an opportunity to become aware of the sponsored members, their families and for the community to show the good work that CFCA is doing for our people.

This makes more people feel more solidarity so that they can fulfill their mission, not only in Mineiros, but perhaps, all over the world.

We believe there will be more encouragement and acceptance by the sponsored members and their families as they understand that CFCA does not want to give them everything, but that they need to learn to fight to improve the lives of their families.

CFCA offers this help, and together, they will have more hope for their families.

Read about Carnival, which is taking place in Brazil from March 4 to 8.

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Mar 2 2011

How long is 8,000 miles?

Bob on Walk2getherCFCA President and Co-founder Bob Hentzen is walking 8,000 miles through 12 countries in Latin America to shed light on families living in poverty.

Do you know how long 8,000 miles is?

  • It’s twice the length of the continental United States.
  • It’s roughly the diameter of the planet Earth.
  • It’s like walking the Boston Marathon approximately 300 times.

We’re hoping to put together an infographic explaining just how long 8,000 miles is, and we’re asking for your help! Do you have other comparisons or measurements to help our audience grasp how long Bob’s walk really is?

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Feb 4 2011

Update from Bob in Bolivia

CFCA President and Co-founder Bob Hentzen has now walked more than 5,700 miles of Walk2gether’s 8,000-mile route.

Walk2gether at Festival Folklorica

CFCA dancers at the Festival Folklorica in La Paz.

He has passed through La Paz, enjoying his experience of the Festival Folklorica there.

“I see a lot of shows around the world, but this one has been an enormous and spontaneous outpouring of ëcarino talento, entusiasmoí (talent and enthusiasm) ñ in particular among the children and youth with special abilities and the sponsored elderly,” he writes on his Facebook page.

Bob also visited Cochabamba, and here’s a note we received Feb. 2 from Eufronia Taquichiri, Cochabamba project coordinator:

“Cochabamba is living the emotion of the walk. Don Roberto (Bob) just passed a grueling stretch, completing the planned 40 kilometers (about 25 miles) with such courage and strength against the icy winds of our antiplano, climbing to reach the summit at 3,800 meters (almost 12,470 feet) above sea level.

“To my colleagues in Kansas: this walk is a true challenge. My respect and admiration for Don Roberto. May God bless him always. This is a life lesson. … Viva CFCA! Viva Don Roberto and DoÒa Cristina (Bob’s wife) always!!”

Bob is now in the Andean town of Pongo. Today (Feb. 4) is a rest day for Walk2gether.

(Check out our Facebook album of†Walk2gether pictures in Bolivia.)

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Jan 27 2011

Bolivian festival of miniatures a big deal

Walk2gether arrived in La Paz, Bolivia, in time to celebrate Las Alasitas, a local festival with indigenous roots.

Bolivian miniatures
Bolivian miniatures in hand

Here are two Bolivian miniatures, gifts to some of our staff in International. They are about an inch tall and easily fit into the palm of your hand.

Henry Flores, director of CFCAís communication center in El Salvador, spoke by phone with Ruth Valderrama, La Paz project coordinator.

Ruth and the walkers were arriving at the hotel and she did not have much time, but she managed to provide this brief explanation of the tradition.

The Las Alasitas fair is a local tradition that usually starts on Jan. 24 and lasts for about three days. People from all over La Paz and nearby El Alto come to the fair.

The fair is celebrated only in La Paz at the fair center and on the main avenue of El Alto, very close, but higher in altitude, than La Paz.

During the fair, local artisans, mostly indigenous people, make miniatures symbolizing different material wishes people have for the upcoming year.

These wishes can be for a house, a car, etc. People buy a miniature of the item they wish to receive.

There are also miniatures for those looking for a match. Women who want to find the man of their dreams buy miniature roosters. Men looking for a woman buy miniature chickens.

This major cultural celebration has its origins in indigenous Andean traditions. In ancient times, people would present miniatures to Ekeko, a household god of abundance and prosperity.

Many families in the CFCA sponsorship program participate in this local cultural celebration.

To see pictures from the fair, see our Facebook photo album.

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Jan 17 2011

Bob from the Road – Peru/Bolivia crossing

Bob on Walk2getherBob Hentzen and the Walk2gether team have left Peru and are now crossing into Bolivia.

They have walked more than 5,000 miles of the 8,000-mile walk through some of the highest terrain they will encounter: the Altiplano of Peru. Their highest altitude to date was 14,856 feet above sea level.

Thank you for all your prayers and support of Walk2gether during this time.

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Jan 10 2011

Bob’s updates along Walk2gether

We’ve been receiving almost daily reports from Walk2gether’s progress in Peru. The team has reached its highest point to date at 14,856 feet!

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Bob writes on Jan. 8:

Breathtaking natural beauty surrounds us on this highest day of Walk2gether.

We have walked this entire day at more than 14,000 feet and peaked at 14,856. With the arrival of Alberto Castro (originally from Colombia), we now have walkers from the United States, Peru, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia and Ecuador.

We left our home base at 2 a.m. to reach our starting point. The camper was running low on gasoline, and we had quite a challenge finding a gas station (called ìgrifoî in Peru) open at this early hour.

Very much open to overflowing were the many disco bars, catering to the young people of Juliaca. I pray that with Godís grace and walking together, we can encourage these young people to channel their energies for good.

In contrast to the partygoers are the humble peasants, walking through the cold of the early morning carrying heavy loads of fruits, vegetables and handwoven blankets to market.

Jan. 7

The day started off cold but indescribably beautiful on the high chaparral that goes on forever, adorned by inspiring shepherd families caring for herds of woolly alpacas, llamas and vicunas. The wind kicked up in the afternoon with an abundance of hail.

The walkers put on all the clothes we had, and were still very cold. Two of the group took ill from the altitude, but are OK this next morning, gracias a Dios.

The storm pelted us but good, and it left the city of Juliaca blanketed in white, looking like Christmas eves of old. But weíre here with Godís people; we carry you in our hearts; weíre safe; weíre getting there; we send our love.

Jan. 6

After enjoying a phenomenal day with 386 sponsored members and their families, Father Alex and staff on Jan. 2, we have gone deeper and higher into the Andes, and right through a National Reserve for Flora y Fauna.

Yesterday and today, we have walked at right around 14,000 feet above sea level. Very cold in the early morning and late afternoon.

It’s a challenge to walk at these high altitudes, but itís also a very rewarding privilege to walk with Godís people amidst majestic snow-peaked mountains and hundreds of alpacas, vicunas, llamas and song birds.

Listen to Bob’s podcast in December about walking along the high chaparral:

Walk2gether on the high chaparral by cfcausa

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