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NuevaLife Walkathon to improve lives in Perú

Arooj Ashraf, La Prensa Correspondent

This August, taking a walk around Edgewater Park can help improve the lives of 200 people living in a remote village of Perú. That is if you join NuevaLife’s Sarapanga 5KWalk& Rumba on August 10, 2013, from 4 p.m. to 9.m. and help the nonprofit international humanitarian group’s mission to combat poverty, and disease in Latin America. The fundraiser is an effort to complete the water well project for San José de Sarapanga, Loreto, Perú and begin other sustainable projects in the region.

NuevaLife was founded in 2007 by University of Florida students who wanted to make a difference in the lives of rural communities. Eger to make a difference, Rafaél Arango and his friends, biologist familiar with the region, arrived in Perú with eight suitcases of donated  toys, clothes and shoes. “We realized this was not enough,” he said.

They pledged to return with a 30ft container of supplies. With the support of APL, a global transportation company, they were able to return six months later. “We collected donations from schools, churches and neighbors,” he said, and the generosity grew to include home goods, blankets in addition to clothes, and toys.  Still the tremendous needs of the communities urged them to expand their vision and scope.

Photos by Rafaél Arango

Arango said the group wanted to make a sustainable difference in the lives of people they were meeting and upon closer examination determined majority of the diseases in the region were waterborne. So they met with local leaders and found partners to build water well in Sarapanga. 

Creating a portable water system would significantly improve the living conditions but it is only the first step for the organization. The people of Sarapanga have access to only a fifth grade level education, beyond which the children must live in orphanages in other regions to pursue higher education. The economy is agriculture based and artisans create cultural crafts for the few tourists exploring the Amazon Basin.

Arango said after the completion of the water project they plan to assemble a team of agriculture experts who can learn more about the way Sarapanga’s people cultivate their crops, and help them with tools and information to increase their annual yield, raising their income. The trickle effect will lead to access to healthier lives, and education for the families and children.

Participation in the 5K Walk requires a $10 registration as one of five teams. “Each team has a story to share,” said Arango. His team is sharing the hopes of dreams of Carlitos, who wants to become a musician. “When we are growing up we have a lot of dreams and aspirations, but theses children don’t because they don’t have the resources,” he said. The team hopes to raise $1000 dollars by hosting a series of mini fundraisers. The donations will be matched by Career IQ, a local firm that has pledged $5000 matching funds for the cause.

The Walk will go through the Shoreway tunnel, ending at Redstone for a social Ramba party and free drinks for the participants. “This is a social event were we can have fun and talk about ways to help,” said Arango.

The organization thrives on volunteers, “One hundred percent of the proceeds raised will benefit the project. To sponsor walkers, donate, and to learn more about the organization visit www.nuevalife.org and follow their activity on their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/NuevaLife

To join Team Carlitos register at: www.carlitos.eventbrite.com

Copyright © 1989 to 2013 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 07/16/13 19:18:56 -0700.




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