Saturday October 30,2010
To Whom It May Concern,
I am writing this letter to let you know about an amazing annual caravan that will commence once again this year on Sunday October 31, 2010. This is the Caravan of Hope's annual, 6,500 kilometer, drive of decommissioned ambulances from Toronto, Canada to El Salvador. This amazing project was founded by Father Hernan Astudillo in the spring of 2001 to bring aid where ever there is a need in this millennium. Father Astudillo is the founder of many projects in Toronto, which are helping to integrate the Hispanic community into the Canadian mosaic, including the first Spanish language ethnic community radio station in Canada, CHHA 1610 AM, Radio Voces Latinas.
Now in its tenth year the Caravan of Hope has been driving decommissioned school buses and ambulances to support the poorest of communities in Central America since the beginning. This tenth anniversary will see seven ambulances with twenty volunteers start their journey from the parking lot of San Lorenzo church in northwest Toronto at 3 pm on the 31st of October. The team of twenty enthusiastic volunteers are supporting the dreams and realities of this man who believes and say: "If we plant, cultivate, harvest a culture of solidarity and share with our actions with our families, communities, nations and especially with our sisters and brothers in their times of need, we never, ever will know the taste of material poverty. Always we will be happy and rich in spirit, which is the most important gift of any human being”. Father Astudillo.
This journey will take many days. It will take four days to cross the United States of America, five days to cross Mexico, one day to cross Guatemala and the last day will be from Guatemala to San Salvador, El Salvador. The following list is the actual itinerary:
Day 1 October 31 Toronto to Toledo, Ohio.
Day 2 November 1 Toledo to Memphis Tennessee
Day 3, “ 2 Memphis to Houston, Texas
Day 4 “ 3 Houston to Brownsville " (United Sates- Mexico border)
Then depending on the good will of the Border officers towards this Humanitarian project, the following is the hoped for itinerary:
Day 5 November 4 Brownsville to Altamira ( Mexico boarder)
Day 6 November 5 Altamira to Las Casitas
Day 7/8 November 6+7 Las Casitas to Matias Romero
Day 9 November 8 Matias Romero to Tecun-Uman (Mexico-Guatemala border)
Day 10 November 9 Tecun-Uman to La Hachadura (Guatemala-El Salvador border)
Day 11 November 10 La Hachadura to Tecoluca, El Salvador.
Upon arrival, with spirits still high, Father Astudillo and the twenty volunteers will share the ambulances to the most poorest communities in El Salvador, which are coordinate by the Vice President of El Salvador, Mr. Salvador Sanchez Ceren Tecolocoluca. There, the religious and community leaders who have given of their lives to support the poorest of peoples in El Salvador who not only suffered as a result of twelve years of civil war, twenty years of political corruption but also in this decade, two devastating earthquakes, will receive these ambulances as promised. A promise made must be a promised kept. Thus Father Astudillo, soon after his arrival, plans to renew his spirit as he does every year after the journey, with a visit to Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero at his place in the national cathedral in San Salvador, since he believes in his deepest heart that the Caravan is only made possible because it is one of Monsignor’s miracles.
Please join all of us here at San Lorenzo and throughout the Latin American community in Toronto Canada to support this truly remarkable journey with your prayers and your voice (if needed) as Father Hernan and the twenty volunteers travel on this 10th anniversary of the Caravan of Hope.
President of SLLACC