On a Pilgrimage for the Poor, New Mexico Man to Walk 500 Miles
Daniel Valdez has spent recent months preparing for his second 500-mile walk from Lovington, N.M., to Chihuahua, Mexico, starting on Friday, Dec. 20, 2013.
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Dec. 9, 2013) – With a whole lot of faith and a desire to raise awareness about the needs of those who are often forgotten, Daniel Valdez is preparing to embark on a great adventure on Dec. 20, 2013. It is one that will have him walking through 16 U.S. cities, and across the border and into Mexico.
"Helping others makes me feel that I am doing God's will,” said Valdez. “When I see hope
in others, I feel happy.”
The idea of helping the poor was nearly a decade in the making for Valdez, who has been running in regional races for 10 years. It was during one of these runs from Hobbs, N.M., to his hometown of Lovington, N.M., with longtime friend and priest, the Rev. Manuel Ibarra; he felt the call to action and thought a walk would be the way to do it. After some encouraging words from his friend and with the support of his wife, four children and his congregation in the tiny town of Lovington, his first 500-mile walk started on Dec. 21, 2012, and ended in Chihuahua, Mexico, 16 days later.
The 51 year-old Valdez has spent recent months preparing for his second 500 mile-walk, which will be taking the same route. Walking approximately 33 miles a day, he’s hoping to beat last year’s time and reach Chihuahua in 15 days. He plans to use this year’s walk as an opportunity to speak about the needs of orphans, the elderly, and the poor to all who will listen.
“My wish is to connect people in my path with a heart of charity,” said Valdez. “Building a human chain of people connected with the same heart is not easy, but it’s not impossible.”
Valdez is seeking to raise funds for the poor through Food For The Poor and two charities in Mexico. He learned about the international relief and development organization from a speaker who visited his parish at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, and from the organization’s “Least of These” television program that’s airing on a number of networks across the country. To see video clips from the “Least of These” visit www.FoodForThePoor.org/aop.
“When we learned about Mr. Valdez’s plan we were moved by his compassionate desire to raise awareness about the needs of the truly destitute,” said Angel Aloma, Executive Director of Food For The Poor. “The fact that he will be walking 500 miles to fundraise for food is truly amazing, and on behalf of the people we serve we want to sincerely thank Mr. Valdez for his generosity.”
Valdez’s walk will begin after morning Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church located at 1301 North 9th Street, Lovington, N.M., 88260 at 7 a.m., Friday, Dec. 20, 2013.
The walk will continue through the following cities in New Mexico, Texas and Mexico: 1. Lovington, N.M. 2. Hobbs, N.M. 3. Eunice, N.M. 4. Jal, N.M. 5. Kermit, Texas 6.Wink, Texas 7. Pyote, Texas 8. Coyanosa, Texas 9. Alpine, Texas 10. Marfa, Texas 11. Shafter, Texas 12. Presidio, Texas 13. Ojinaga, CH, Mexico 14. Aldama, CH, Mexico 15. Chihuahua, CH, Mexico 16. Delicias, CH, Mexico.
Valdez’s parents will trail him on his journey, driving in the family’s RV, which is where Valdez will sleep at night.
To help Valdez reach his goal to feed the poor, visit www.FoodForThePoor.org/danielvaldez and make a secure online donation.
Food For The Poor, named by The Chronicle of Philanthropy as the largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 95 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor.
Food For The Poor
954-427-2222 x 6079