Tag Archives: South America

May 7 2010

‘The temperature is getting hotter each day’

Veron Telar, project coordinator of Manila, Philippines, has been walking with Bob and the walk team since Walk2gether left Guatemala. Below, she gives us a little update of how the walk in Colombia is going.

We are resting today (Wednesday). We are doing fine here in Colombia. What a best time to rest: we are at the beach right now. So far we have walked 3,162 km since we began in Guatemala. I am looking forward to walking another 1,000 km until June.*

Normally we get up between 2:30 ó 3:00 a.m., depending on the distance that we have to travel to get to the place where we ended the previous day. We basically end at 5 p.m., but the other day, we started at 3 a.m. and finished at 6:45 p.m.

The temperature here is getting hotter each day, as we are walking close to the ocean. We are now here in Magdalena leading to Cartagena. The last week we walked in La Guajira, and the heat was terrible. It seems that we walked in the desert ó about 100 degrees F. But, we survived.

Tomorrow we will be on the road again. I am refueling myself with the fresh fish and rice that we are having these days. Sir Bob, Ma’am Cristina and the team are absolutely doing fine.

*Editor’s note: Veron will return to the Philippines in June.

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May 5 2010

Singing at the border

After Walk2gether entered Colombia, Henry Flores, director of the CFCA Communication Center in El Salvador, contacted Judith Bautista, project coordinator for Bogota, Colombia, to see how the walk is going.

How was the experience of Walk2gether entering Colombia?
JudithIt was very exciting. It was Saturday, and I was in company of Isabel, another CFCA-Colombia staff member. We did not expect the walk to arrive until the next day. We were at the border, reviewing some plans and, suddenly, we turned toward the Venezuelan side of the border and saw a group of people with traffic vests and flags, and Bob was leading them. I got really excited, they were singing and we started singing back. It was incredible, emotional. All of us from the CFCA team in Colombia, about 60 people, walked to meet them. We laughed, hugged each other. There was joy, smiles and tears, this was an unbelievable moment for me.

Did the Walk2gether group have any problem crossing the border?
They did not have any problem entering Colombia. One thing we were told by the border authorities is that they needed us to keep informing them of the location of the walk every other week so they could be alert.

How was it for you to work with the CFCA Venezuela team to organize the walk?
It has been great! They are a great team: hard-working women and very close to their communities. The project coordinator in Venezuela, Sunilde, and I have an excellent relationship, when we saw each other at the border we both cried, and it was hard to say goodbye.

Sunilde and I have a lot in common. We both share the same spirit for CFCA, the same values, and we both enjoy working with the sponsored members of CFCA. Our dream of finding options for our communities is something that unites us. She is a woman who has done much for the communities in Venezuela.

Sunilde shared with me the rough moments they experienced in Venezuela while walking. In some places, people, in general, understood about the walk, but some who didnít understand were rude to them.

So, working with the Venezuelan team gives me a sense of admiration because in spite of all their challenges, they are doing so much good for the students, families, communities, etc. Their sponsored children and elderly are people with brave hearts.

What is the feeling of the CFCA Colombian team of welcoming the walk?
Looking at the walkers crossing into Colombia is something that we were dreaming about for a long time. In Colombia, we are excited and happy, hearing our voices united in song with the voices of the Venezuelan team was beautiful.

Ending one section of the walk and beginning a new phase is admirable. The feeling is something hard to describe, it is something that you feel in your heart and soul.

Seeing both flags, Colombian and Venezuelan, waving in the middle of the border between both countries, was like being in limbo, where nothing else mattered. I remembered that borders can be drawn by the men but, in spite of them, CFCA reaches across, like a big family, and words are inadequate to describe this feeling.

The flag of unity of CFCA tells us that something very special is happening in the world and in all of the countries where Walk2gether visits.

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Apr 15 2010

‘To be more’ is more important than ‘to have more’

Dear sponsors,

We, at the Barquisimeto project, welcomed with special affection our dear friends, Bob and Cristina Hentzen. Their presence among the Venezuelan sponsored members is a solid witness of faith and hope. This movement is being called Walk2gether: together in our joys, together in our sorrows, together in good times, together in bad times.

Therefore, to us, Walk2gether means:

Creating links of unity and brotherhood.

To be witness to life among our sponsored members.

To recognize in each sponsored member their dignity and their right to a life full of opportunities.

To empower all who bring life to the sponsorship program so they may bear faithful witnesses to their own growth and development.

Through these meanings we join in solidarity with Bob when he says, ìBy walking with the poor, we are telling them they are not alone.î

Walk2gether represents a way of faith, solidarity and hope for all of us that are a part of CFCA in Venezuela.

Walk2gether encourages us to see with kind eyes the needs of our people.

Walk2gether is an activity that holds up humanity at all times, above all else. It gives special meaning to CFCAís statement that ìto be moreî is more important than ìto have more.î

Fraternally,
Sunilde PÈrez
Project Coordinator
Barquisimeto, Venezuela

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Mar 3 2010

Early report indicates no CFCA fatalities

An early report from staff members in Chile indicates that there have been no fatalities among sponsored members. Our staff will continue to assess the situation of families impacted by the quake and send a more detailed report at a later date.

The report also said that a day center where aging members ate breakfast and lunch and took handicraft and art workshops is uninhabitable. As a result, the sponsored elderly will receive their nutritional benefits at another location and all workshops have been postponed until a new location is identified.

And finally, Sara Leiva, the Valparaiso project coordinator, said that sponsors with friends in Chile should keep in mind that letters both in and out of the country will be delayed. Some letters may arrive late or coated with earthquake dust. For now, the staffís top priority is to assess and respond to the current needs of the families.

For more information, read the full news story on our website.

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Feb 26 2010

The best birthday gift

By Shirley Foley, CFCA sponsor

On Aug. 30, I went on a mission awareness trip to Bolivia to meet my sponsored child, Kevin, and to visit the different CFCA projects. The mission awareness trip coincided with my birthday, Sept. 1, and this trip was the best gift that I have ever received.

I couldnít wait to meet my godson, Kevin, who will be 8 years old next month. Kevin and I have been writing to each other regularly for nearly three years now, and have become close through our letters. Meeting Kevin personally for the first time was truly a moving experience. As we hugged, I was in tears ó tears of joy and gratitude for the gift of sponsorship of this beautiful child. Kevin is delightful: he loves to play football, loves to draw, was the best student in his class last year, is an excellent reader and is very precious to me. Kevin and I were able to spend three days together visiting homes and projects with our group

As I am writing this, I am filling up with tears, not tears of sadness, but tears of joy as I remember the outpouring of love by our Bolivian friends. We visited homes and projects each day. In every project and in every home, we were received with such warmth and love as one could not imagine. During these visits, we, the group of sponsors, experienced a whole range of emotions ó love, joy, kindness, heartbreak, laughter, friendship, faith, goodness, generosity, sadness, elation, the love of God, solidarity and the oneness of us all.

It was obvious that our Bolivian friends had spent months preparing for our visit. Everything was perfect. No detail was overlooked. Everywhere we visited, we were met with welcoming banners, with music and dances, delicious home-cooked meals, handmade gifts, necklaces, flowers and their wonderful warmth and love. And we danced!!!!! Joyfully!!!

The sponsors that I met in this group are loving, caring people who filled my heart with happiness and appreciation to have the pleasure of sharing this visit with them. I think that we really didnít know what to expect on our visit. We knew that we would see poverty, but what we found was a deep and abiding love ó a love showered on us at every step of our journey. Yes, we saw poverty, heart-wrenching poverty, but through and overall was the ever-present love and hope and faith of our beautiful Bolivian friends ó men, women and children, old and young. They thanked us for our help and called us Godís angels. But they are Godís angels. We could never give these wonderful, kind and generous friends what they have given to us.

We were honored to walk with them, honored to stand in solidarity with them, honored to be united with them and honored to be family.

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Dec 23 2009

Walk2gether begins in one week

The walking begins in one week!

On Dec. 29, CFCA President Bob Hentzen will embark on Walk2gether, an 8,000-mile, 16-month journey through 12 countries in Latin America.

CFCA staff and BobExcitement and anticipation are building as families and CFCA staff in Guatemala prepare to bid Bob and his fellow travelers “Buen Viaje.” More than 65 sponsors participating in the mission awareness trip will also be on hand for the launch.

Meanwhile, CFCA staff in Kansas gave Bob an official send-off when he visited the headquarters in late November. Read more here.

Check out the new Walk2gether website, where you can follow Bob on an interactive map, and explore links to his electronic journals and to videos, slideshows and stories about the realities, people and activities in the countries he visits. You can also send messages of support and encouragement that Bob will share with the families of sponsored members and the CFCA staff in the communities he visits.

Walk2gether is a way to help counterbalance the isolation of people living in poverty, and show them that someone cares. The walk will help build community and strengthen the bonds of unity between CFCA’s sponsored members, sponsors and staff. It will also symbolize and promote the unity of countries, races, languages, genders and creeds. Visit Walk2gether.org to learn more.

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Dec 22 2009

The Happy Truck

Photos and story by the Cali project team in Colombia

Juan Pablo is an 8-year-old sponsored boy from the Cali project in Colombia. He attends a public school near his house.

Juan and his family live in a difficult financial situation in which they lack of many things, and one of them is toys. He is a very creative child who, with the help of his creative and handy mother, builds some improvised toys with recycled materials. Juan spends lots of time making toys and playing with them.

For his father, who is unemployed at the moment, Juanís creativity has been a blessing, because when he wants toys and his father canít afford them, they both find creative ways to make them.

We found Juan making a new cardboard toy truck, which he calls his ìHappy Truck.î This is the process he uses to make this Happy Truck.

He finds cardboard of different sizes, colors and textures, usually these are used cardboard boxes he finds at the local dairy stores.

Here we present, step-by-step, the process to build a ìHappy Truck.î

He uses a disposable plastic cup to draw the tires of the truck, which will be painted black later in the process.

He uses a disposable plastic cup to draw the tires of the truck which will be painted black later in the process.

He cuts other pieces that will be used as the body of the truck. Once he finishes that, he paints the pieces red.He cuts other pieces that will be used as the body of the truck. Once he finishes that, he paints the pieces red.

He cuts other pieces that will be used as the body of the truck. Once he finishes that, he paints the pieces red.

The tires he drew and cut earlier are now being painted ñ black, of course!The tires he drew and cut earlier are now being painted ñ black, of course!

The tires he drew and cut earlier are now being painted ñ black, of course!

Another little box is needed to build the cabin of the truck, then all the pieces are glued togetherAnother little box is needed to build the cabin of the truck, then all the pieces are glued togetherAnother little box is needed to build the cabin of the truck, then all the pieces are glued together
Another little box is needed to build the cabin of the truck, then all the pieces are glued togetherAnother little box is needed to build the cabin of the truck, then all the pieces are glued togetherAnother little box is needed to build the cabin of the truck, then all the pieces are glued together

Another little box is needed to build the cabin of the truck, then all the pieces are glued together.

Windows are very important in his truck. Square pieces of white paper are used as windows

Windows are very important in his truck. Square pieces of white paper are used as windows.

Truck is ready and the fun begins.Truck is ready and the fun begins.Truck is ready and the fun begins.

Truck is ready and the fun begins.

The coloring material, glue and scissors are part of the school supplies that CFCA offers them every year, at the same time. Juanís neighbors also give him material for his toys. This truck will last for a couple of weeks, so Juan already has more boxes to make another one of his Happy Creations.

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