Category Archives: Walk2gether

Mar 29 2011

Happy birthday, Bob Hentzen!

An open letter to CFCA President and Co-founder Bob Hentzen from Kansas City.

Bob Hentzen's 75th birthday

From left, Cristina Hentzen and CFCA President Bob Hentzen.

Dear Bob,

Happy 75th birthday!

You’re the president of CFCA, but to many of us you’re also a friend ñ one who takes the time to meet us at our desks, shake our hands, smile and ask how our day is going.

Without your vision and those friends and family who founded CFCA with you, we wouldn’t be here today.

Because of you and our sponsors who have partnered with CFCA, we are privileged to serve more than 300,000 individuals and their families living in poverty.

We want to keep serving and growing ñ thanks to your courage and faith.

Godspeed to you, Cristina and all those with you on Walk2gether. We’re sure they will help you celebrate your birthday in Chile!

Peace from

All of us at CFCA in Kansas City

Send your own birthday wishes to Bob with a comment below or on Bob’s Facebook page.

P.S. Enjoy this video of our singing happy birthday to Bob!

Mar 23 2011

Update from Bob about Walk2gether in Brazil

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Bob has crossed into Chile, the 12th and final country that Walk2gether will visit. Here’s a reflection from his Facebook page after visiting CFCA’s sponsored members and their families in Brazil.

It is an honor to share the ideals and excitement of Walk2gether with the sponsored members and their families in Brazil.

Itís the rainy season, and we splashed our way through many a knee-deep puddle on the country roads.

The heat and mosquitoes are challenging too, but again our families give us excellent insights into acclimatization and ecology.

It takes a while to get out to this rural area in Cipauba, Piaui (a state in Brazil), but I find very little trash along the roads.

These are a deeply religious people, who hold frequent Bible services on their own and look forward to the monthly visit of a priest.

Within the loving confines of a small rural school, I discover confident and brilliant students, who have obviously received a lot of personal attention since their very first day in preschool.

In Mineiros, the children and families have been preparing for a good long time Ö and it shows. Festival dances are lively and very well done. Some of the regional dances resemble traditional U.S. square dances.

Typical foods prepared by the mothers are really delicious. I find it very inspiring to spend time with these families, sometimes in their own simple homes.

Enthusiastic and creative mothers are showing the world how to live with dynamism and hope in the midst of great challenges. In true CFCA spirit, there is an openness and tenderness between staff and children.

We really enjoyed an hourís interview in Portuguese and Spanish on Radio El Dorado in Mineiros.

It was facilitated by Dom Elias, host, with translation help from young Benedictine priest Dom Rodrigo (a fine linguist and friend of CFCA); Eutimia, Mineiros project coordinator; Cristina; and myself.

I ask for your prayers as we begin Walk2gether in the north of Chile. Please know of our love.


Mar 14 2011

Help CFCA spread the word through Twitter

Update Dec. 29, 2011: Thanks to all our loyal Twitter followers who used the #8000kids hashtag to raise $243 for CFCA scholarships! We beat our original goal of $200 for the entire year. Way to go!

Many of you are already supporting our efforts to help CFCA President Bob Hentzen reach his goal of 8,000 kids sponsored during his 8,000-mile solidarity walk. We can’t thank you enough!

The CFCA social media team is now hoping to harness Twitter as a tool for spreading the word about Bobís goal and Walk2gether.

For every tweet with the hashtag #8000kids (that doesn’t come from us), donors will contribute one dollar to fund CFCA scholarships for students to complete their education.

We’re hoping to get at least 200 tweets with the hashtag #8000kids ñ that’s up to $200 for scholarships!

While raising money for scholarships is one of the goals of our initiative, our primary goal is to utilize Twitter to tell more people about CFCA and Bobís walk to help children living in poverty.

Do you use Twitter? If not, do any of your friends and family members? Here are some suggested tweets to send, or compose your own using the #8000kids hashtag to start spreading the word. Thanks so much.

  • Half the world’s children live in poverty. Bob, 75, walked 8,000 miles to help them. #8000kids
  • Did you know a guy walked 8,000 miles at age 75 to help kids in poverty? Check it out! #8000kids
  • A 75 y.o.† walked 8,000 miles to help kids in poverty! Learn more: #8000kids
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.

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

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.

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?

Feb 28 2011

CFCA, Walk2gether in the blogosphere

CFCA blogGood news! We were recently featured in the blogosphere by this wonderful post from a blog called Robin’s Nest:


Our second mention was from Elie Gardner, a freelance photographer and journalist who joined CFCA President and Co-founder Bob Hentzen when Walk2gether was in Peru and crossed into Bolivia:


Please help these bloggers by clicking on their posts and commenting on them. We’d like to support them in any way we can!

Feb 23 2011

Sponsor internalizes meaning of Walk2gether

CFCA sponsor John Aceti went on a recent mission awareness trip in Bolivia. During the trip, he met Bob and Cristina Hentzen, who were conducting a 2-kilometer solidarity walk there. The Hentzens have since returned to Bolivia to continue with Walk2gether.

A unique experience I had in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, was when Bob and Cristina did the 2-kilometer walk with our American group and the local village members.

Solidarity walk in Bolivia

Families join Bob and Cristina Hentzen in a solidarity walk during a recent Bolivia mission awareness trip.

After we disembarked from our bus, we walked to the front of the big group where Bob and Cristina were ready for us.

The walk began with the majority of the American group walking up front near our leaders.

I decided that I wanted to walk with the villagers and proceeded to move near the end of the line where they were all walking.

I wanted to internalize the experience and try to have a sense of connection as I walked with them.

As I walked I spoke in the best Spanish and the few words that I knew with some of them.

Although I took photographs, I approached one woman with a small child walking and said, Buenos dÌas, seÒora. øCÛmo est· usted? øBien? (Good morning, ma’am. How are you? Well?)

Bob and Cristina Hentzen

Bob and Cristina Hentzen participate in a solidarity walk during a recent Bolivia mission awareness trip.

She responded with, ìî and a big smile. I then extended my hand to the child who looked up to her mother, who nodded, and we walked TOGETHER.

I did hear some laughter and applause behind us.

I did this about three times with different people when, on the last time, I felt someone slip their arm and hand around my right arm.

When I looked to my side, I looked into the eyes and face of one of the mothers who appeared to be saying with a big smile, “We’ll walk together with you, too.”

I felt a big rush of euphoria come over me, and that internalized my reason for being there. For three seconds I realized what Bob and Cristina experienced for 8,000 miles.

It was an experience that will be with me for a long time.

John Aceti, from Texas

Feb 16 2011

A look back at Walk2gether in Peru

CFCA asks project coordinators in the countries that Walk2gether visits to complete questionnaires about their experience with the walk. The questions are intended to identify the walk’s highlights and challenges in their country. Here are some comments from Henry Perez, project coordinator in Lima, Peru. (Walk2gether is now in Bolivia.)

What are the most memorable moments during the walk?

The Walk2gether camper had to leave the walk so that its country circulation permits could be renewed in Peru. We drove the camper back to the border to renew the permits.

During this trip, the camper suffered several mechanical problems, causing a delay in catching up with the walk.

Walk2gether in the Peruvian desert

Walk2gether in the desert in Peru.

The camper was away from Walk2gether about five days. Most of Bob’s equipment and gear is inside. It’s the only place where he has time to rest and relax during the walk.

In spite of this, Bob showed his strength and will to continue and spent these days in a minivan to rest and keep the little gear he had. We were able to spend more time with him and see a different side of his humanity.

The second most memorable moment was walking on the road from Arequipa to Juliaca. The narrow, steep roads took us from 2,800 meters (about 1.7 miles) above sea level to 4,528 meters (about 2.8 miles) in the same day.

The curves were very dangerous and the visibility was poor. A very strong rainstorm occurred, and we suffered extreme cold that numbed our body. Then a hailstorm hit as we were going up the road.

Despite these extreme weather and road conditions, Bob did not stop and motivated all of us to continue with our mission.

What are some challenges Walk2gether encountered?

CFCA-Lima has three full-time staff members and serves about 1,600 sponsored members. At the same time, the walk in Peru was going to be very long, almost four months, because Peru is a big country ó almost twice the size of Texas. During much of the walk no sponsored members or their families were nearby to accompany it.

All three of us agreed to take on this challenge, and we did it!

What are some things that went well?

We had company and protection from the national police and the ability to consolidate our team’s duties by multitasking.

Walk2gether portable bathroom

Walk2gether’s portable bathroom.

We had a police escort 98 percent of the way in Peru. Some policemen even joined the core group of the walk (“Grupo Corazon”) and walked long distances, offering protection.

Did you have a funny moment during the walk?

Many! One was at a rest stop when one of the drivers went to use the portable bathroom.

Nobody knew he was in there and the truck driver pulling the portable bathroom took off.

The man inside the bathroom did not know what to do. He opened the door and realized it was moving, but he could not close the door again and stayed and greeted the people in the buses that were passing by.

We remembered this moment along the rest of the walk!

Did anything go wrong?

Read more

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.)