For Immediate Release: Oct. 28, 2010
Caravan of Hope Delivers Medical Supplies from Canada to El Salvador
A journey begins this week from Toronto, Canada, through North and Central America to bring medical relief those who need in most in El Salvador, including children, the poor and the elderly.
Volunteers will embark on their journey on Oct. 31, driving 7 ambulances filled with medical supplies. The first stop on their trip from Toronto to El Salvador will be in Toledo, Ohio. The caravan will also be stopping in Memphis, Tennessee; Houston, Texas; and Brownsville, Texas before crossing into Mexico, Guatemala and finally to their destination of El Salvador.
In a partnership with the City of Toronto and Toronto Fire Department, and with the support of the San Lorenzo Parish, Father Astudillo established the Caravan of Hope in February 2001. Two earthquakes struck El Salvador that year, killing more than 1,000 people and destroying more than 200,000 homes, leaving 1.3 million homeless.
The earthquakes were the impetus for the establishment of this unique project, but the contributions of companies, churches, communities, charitable organizations and individuals has allowed this project to continue for 10 years. In July 2001, the first Caravan consisted of five buses packed with dried food, clothing, water, school materials and medical supplies, traveling 6,000 kilometers through the USA, Mexico and Guatemala. The aid offered relief to the disaster stricken communities in El Salvador and the buses were donated to impoverished communities, improving their diminished public transportation system.
Since 2001, Caravans have continued to undertake this journey to spread hope. In all, more than 30 buses have been driven to Central America, providing relief in the form of transportation and, in some cases, becoming mobile health clinics and libraries.
As of 2008, in partnership with the Emergency Medical Services of Toronto, Councillor Joe Mihevc and the City of Toronto, San Lorenzo volunteers have driven four ambulances down to El Salvador where they were donated to Soyapango. Toranto has developed a close relationship with Soyapango and are supporting it in its development and growth.
This year, 21 volunteers will drive seven ambulances to El Salvador. Father Astudillo says, “this work as the work of Jesus Christ, and himself as one of his laborers.”
For more information about The Caravan of Hope, visit www.sanlorenzo.ca .