Join us as we celebrate Geography Awareness Week with National Geographic and friends. This year’s theme “focuses on how geography enables us all to be intrepid explorers in our own way.”
Today on CFCA’s 32-year anniversary, we take a closer look at our work in the South American country, Peru.
By Elizabeth Alex
From the distance, Manchay, Peru appears dirty and desolate.
Small and sometimes rickety houses, cheerfully painted in lilac and blue sit at the base of what appear to be mountains made of dust and rock. Manchay is covered in haze.
But what Manchay lacks in aesthetics, it makes up for in smiles.
Like the big grin on 5-year-old Carlos’ face.
Here is an interview with Blanca, 76, and Luis, 77; two sponsored aging friends in the Hope for a Family program in Lima, Peru. They were married 41 years ago and have supported each other since.
What is your secret for a long life?
Blanca: To laugh when you can and to cry when you have to.
Luis: Do not complain about life, remain joyful and work hard because when working, you forget about problems.
What advice do you have for young people?
Blanca: Stay away from drugs.
Luis: Keep your mind busy doing activities that you enjoy because a free mind tends to think about bad things. Young people must make an effort to find good company, good friends. Read more
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!
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.
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.
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: