We have been traveling on a sidecar motorcycle for a good year and two months.
Our journey started in the east coast of the USA (Charleston, SC), with the goal of reaching the southern tip of South America.
While planning for our trip we decided to add a social component to it, to give more meaning to the journey of our lives. We had some ideas of how and who we wanted to help, so we started fundraising for the cause: to help street kids in Latin America.
It was during our research that we found the Muskoka Foundation. We found that the Muskoka Foundation offered a variety of programs in which we could participate while traveling and through which provide more to the street kids than a simple visit and a donation. So we contacted Alice Gugelev and expressed her our interest to work with them. She was very excited to have us as part of their team, and we started coordinating photography workshops with several organizations in Central America.
In Mexico we were able to visit three organizations working with kids and youths. They were: Casa Hogar in Baja California, Buen Pastor in Guanajuato, and Centro de Esperanza Infantil in Oaxaca. In each of these places we were able to work closely with the kids for a long period of time (averaging to 3 weeks) teaching them Capoeira and the basics of photography.
At El Buen Pastor we had the opportunity to work with an art teacher, Katie Clancy, to put together an exhibition for the work of the eight girls who had taken the photography workshop. We were able to use the project to help with some of the problems that the girls pointed out were happening in Guanajuato. It ended up being a good venue to provide more meaning to their work.
We sold all their work in a silent auction. The girls were the beneficiaries of the proceeds and they decided to donate them to the nuns who were took care of them everyday. The experience was very meaningful to us because we were able to see how those girls were conscious about the help they had received from different people and instead of spending their money on clothes, they gave it away. They became part of the effort of helping others. That was very rewarding to us!
As you move along and get experiences like that, you will realize that helping other is worth it. What you get from them and from the experiences, will immediately turn you into a completely new person. Your life will become meaningful and you will realize what truly is valuable and meaningful in this world.
As of today we have visited ten countries, and have been able to work directly with several organizations in Mexico, Guatemala and Colombia. Our trip can be summarize as a journey full of adventures, where we have been able to discover many aspects that make the trip so memorable. Things you can only experience or feel when you travel this way.
We could attempt to explain them to you, but there are no words that can fully explain what you will experience when you’re on the road. It’s even more difficult to explain how much value helping others will add to your life. Visiting many countries and getting to know other cultures are only the frosting on the cake. Deep inside the cake resides a world far beyond what we see in the news … it’s all beautiful, it’s all worth seeing and worth living.
Thanks to The Muskoka Foundation for providing us with the tools to bring help to communities in need. It’s been a great journey and we look forward to continuing our journey of “doing good as we go”.