Jan 4 2011

A letter to the Walk2gether camper

Here is a tongue-in-cheek post from Rafael Villalobos, CFCA project coordinator in San Jose, Costa Rica. Rafa joined CFCA President and Co-founder Bob Hentzen on Walk2gether and made friends with the iconic Walk2gether camper, a vehicle that has accompanied Bob since the walk began. The camper is with Bob right now in Peru.

Hello, dear friend camper:

I remember the first time I saw your picture. You looked good. Don Roberto (Bob) told me, ìItís old, like me, but it still runs.î

Walk2gether camper

CFCA Walk2gether camper.

They told us your name: Walk2gether Camper.

We waited for you happily. I fondly remember March 1, when you arrived in Costa Rica together with the walkers. Everyone watched you with respect.

You came loaded with luggage, lots of water, tools, spare tire, food, kitchen supplies, clothes for the walkers, medicine, electric generator, etc.

You looked tired and beaten, but in your lights, I noticed an immense joy.

With your flashers, you animated the children and sang with us, ìWhile walking, borders disappear. We become of one land, one cry for justice, and we blend together like the land blends when we make footprints while we walk. We join dignity and hope in one flag Ö Latin America.î

You drove thousands of miles on your tires. The logos and banners you wore indicated you were not simply a camper. ì12,500 kilometers bringing hope.î

You were like Noahís Ark, crossing oceans to bring hope and blessings to all the villages.

I remember one rainy afternoon when you shared what it means to be part of CFCA:

ìWhen they were about to toss me out like a useless piece of junk, the foundation noticed me. It said I was important. My life had meaning. There was hope for me. This renewed the spark in my motor.

“What they have done with me, the CFCA staff in different countries do with others. I have seen many families who were forgotten and disillusioned recover their dignity, get up and today walk through life with a purpose. That is my life today.

Walk2gether camper

Paul Pearce, CFCA director of international programs, gives the camper a helping hand. The picture was taken when the camper was at CFCA’s Kansas City headquarters.

“I accompany Don Roberto and DoÒa Cristina (Bob’s wife), prophets of life and hope. I welcome them inside so they can regain their strength.

“They make coffee in my cabin. We have peanuts, a small bath, two beds. This isnít a mansion, but it is a home. When they go back outside to walk, I feel proud of my work.

“I continue my journey with my lights on, protecting them and saying to the families they are not alone. Walk with us.”

You walked nearly 600 kilometers (about 373 miles) in Costa Rica. You said goodbye to the walkers on the border with Panama and prepared for the journey to Cartagena, Colombia.

We had to bring you to the port. We couldnít take you on the road. We had to bring you on a special apparatus called a ìlow boy.î We did it.

We accompanied you until the final moment. We watched from afar as you moved away from land on your journey by sea to Colombia.

Thank you, companion camper. Itís been an honor to spend time with you! Keep bringing happiness. Keep bringing hope!


Bob Hentzen comments:
“The camper is a symbol of the spirit of the walk. Ö We found this camper on eBay and it was perfect, it was us. It’s a little bit old but still strong. It’s very economical, doesn’t pretend to win races, but it will get there. There have been places where I thanked God for this camper, where Cristina and I have gotten a good night of sleep. “

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