#22 Caminata por la Vida

Pink ribbons line the streets of San Carlos in February in honor of cancer survivors, fighters and victims.

Living in another country does not change the fact that annually over 330,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer.  More than likely every person reading this entry has in some way been personally touched by this disease. Each year across the globe millions join together to bring awareness to this disease and raise funds that will conceivably lead to a cure.  Whether it’s through the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides, Toronto’s One Walk to Conquer Cancer or Susan G. Komen’s Race for the Cure or 3-Day Walk, these events bring hope.  I was thrilled to discover that even tiny San Carlos gets into the action.

On a beautiful weekend in February when people had the choice of boating, hiking, biking and fishing, many chose to support and participate in the 9th Annual Walk of Life, 9na Caminata por la Vida, and High Tea / Auction.  This combo event began on a Saturday afternoon when partakers dressed in vintage tea hats gathered at the Yacht Club for sips of tea, morsels of dainty delicacies and a festive auction. Donations of gift baskets, artwork, sunset cruises, meals, spa packages and many other treasures were available for the bidding.  Fun was had by all as additional funds were raised for the cause.

Mike with one of our fun San Carlos friends. We made it!

Sunday morning folks gathered at La Palapa Griega Restaurante, The Greek Palapa, for the actual walk.  Donned in mostly mint green t-shirts, a swarm of men, women, children and dogs took to the main street of San Carlos to show their support for bringing awareness to the fight against cancer.  The participants knew that their monetary support would provide crucial screenings and treatment for local Mexicans unable to fund their own health care. Along the route the San Carlos police force, which consists of two trucks and four police officers, took their time to block intersections creating a safe environment for the 5K.  A drone buzzed the crowd to capture the event while volunteers in golf carts handed out water along the way.

Upon crossing the beachfront finish line walkers recuperated with food and beverage specials, while vendors sold their wares, children enjoyed face painting, a 50/50 raffle was started and dancers and musicians entertained from “center stage”.

The event wrapped with drawings for the winners of the Mexican, American, and Canadian baskets.  Organizers said a few words and the 9na Caminata por la Vida became a thing of the past.

Mobile van for screening clinics.

Between the party and the pesos understanding the need for support was apparent.  Funds raised each year are given to the Agrupacion George Papanicolaou (AGP) located in the neighboring city of Guaymas.  They operate to provide both breast and prostate cancer screening clinics in Guaymas and four neighboring villages. AGP not only provides essential screenings but medications, transportation and treatments as needed. This organization has a small office that is operated by one paid employee. The remainder of the help comes from volunteers, including nurses.  They are small but mighty.

Living in Mexico is about change.  Over a two day period I know that a little effort from a group of San Carlosians made a true difference in changing the lives of many local people.  Over time, little things make big things happen.

February 23, 2020

“Don’t forget to support the fighters, admire the survivors, honor the taken and never give up hope.”

-Anonymous

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