Panamericana roadtrip memories 11 - Visit HoPe Foundation

| Sapa Pana Travel

The Panamericana road trip started in December 2011. A car trip through South America with 83 classic Volvo's. In 35 days and 16,000 kilometres, these Volvo enthusiasts drove from Buenos Aires in Argentina, via the south to Cartagena de Indias in Colombia. On our blog we will share memories of this memorable journey in the near future.

A visit to the HoPe Foundation

Sunday 1 January was the day that a large number of the Panamericana participants visited one of the projects of the HoPe foundation. HoPe was linked to the road trip as a charity. For us it was a unique opportunity to showcase the projects we’ve been working on for the last 20 years.

Reception by the mayor of Cuzco

Preferably, we would have taken the group to one of the projects high in the mountains, to one of the 200 schools HoPe has been supporting in the Peruvian Andes and that in most cases we built ourselves. HoPe believes in good education as a basis for the development of our target group: the Plateau Indians. However the villages are too high up in the mountains and can only be reached by travelling winding mountain roads for hours, most of them along deep ravines. This wasn’t something we wanted to subject the Volvo drivers to, so we chose to visit a project that was right along the day’s route. In Cuzco the group was received by the mayor. 

A warm welcome in Racchi

On their way, they passed the comunidad Racchi, a village where HoPe has been working since 1997. The HoPe employees and Racchi’s inhabitants had been working for weeks to make the visit unforgettable. The school’s grounds were large enough to park all the Volvo's. We got a warm welcome from a large delegation from the village.

The programme was presented by youths from the native Patacancha community. There were also some youngsters who had been a part of HoPe’s programme from day one, for 21 years already. We were presented with a wonderful programme of speeches, dance and a small meal that consisted of native potatoes and Guinea pig! The participants were happily surprised by the reception: we saw a few tears here and there!

An important moment for the HoPe Foundation

The visit was only a small look into HoPe’s kitchen. Despite that, it was an important moment for our foundation. This is the only way we can show our sponsors what HoPe is and what we mean to the native population.

Walter Meekes, founder of HoPe foundation

Book Panamericana roadtrip

As a reminder of this memorable journey, the book 'Panamericana Roadtrip' has been published. The story is told with the stunning photographs from travel photographer Thijs Heslenfeld, supported by a selection of some of the many stories written by the heroes of this journey. For everyone that did not participate in this journey, it is a wonderful book to dream away with. The proceeds of this book go to the special projects of the HoPe Foundation. This organisation - founded by Walter Meekes - is involved in developing education in the remote mountain villages around the Peruvian city of Cuzco. 

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