Imagine, if you will, the ultimate road trip: Driving the PanAmerican Highway from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Monterrey, Mexico, and then steering northeast to Philadelphia, to arrive at the World Meeting of Families.
In a Brazilian-made 1980 VW bus named Francisca (after the Pope).
With your spouse and four kids (ages 3 to 12).
Over six months.
After you and your spouse quit your jobs.
I came across the whole incredible adventure on my Facebook feed, which led me to their Facebook page America en familia, and from there went to their website, which has Spanish and English versions, a crowdsourcing page at Indiegogo, and of course, a Twitter page.
Who are these people?
From their English about page,
We are Carmin, Mia, Dimas, Cala, Noël and Catire. An Argentinean family. We are not hippies but we love freedom. We have a “normal” life, work, school, home, good friends … A nice life. Like many, we have to make ends meet, we struggle to achieve our daily chores, we organize trips and vacations, and we try to live our faith without making “much trouble” … We like traveling, new places and meeting people. Restless souls, or “culo inquieto” as they say over here. We lived many years in Barcelona, an amazing experience that allowed us to make friendships that will last forever. A few months ago we decided that it was time to fulfill a new dream.
More than simply fulfilling a dream, they are answering a calling. They are living their faith every moment and every mile of their fantastically interesting and quite perilous journey.
The kids are being homeschooled while getting a hands-on education on the geography, history, customs, and foods of the hemisphere. More importantly, the lessons these children are learning from this most inspirational journey will outlive the 20,000 mile trip.
“As a Catholic, I like to meet people in whom faith is something living, like a motor,” said Martinez, who teaches Italian at the Michelangelo Academy and is a philosophy professor at the Popular Autonomous University of Puebla state. “When I saw the blog I thought it would be an enormous treasure to meet them. If I can provide a grain of sand to help them along the way, even better.”
A VW bus (which they call a kombi) became their vehicle of choice because of its very simple engine, with which all mechanics in South America are familiar. Unfortunately, Francisca is feeling her age and required major work while in Guatemala, stranding the family for 22 days. They are now back on the road, heading to Philly.
You can watch an interview (in Spanish) on YouTube, but we need to get Pete to Philly so he can interview the Walkers, while he reports on the World Meeting of Families, so please hit Da Tip Jar.
Let’s get Da Tech Guy and the Walkers together!
Fausta Rodriguez Wertz on U.S. and Latin American politics at Fausta’s Blog.