New Mexico Man’s 500-Mile Walk Brings Hope to Nicaraguan Family

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (April, 16, 2015) – Life for a family living on the outskirts of the town of Posoltega, Nicaragua, has been transformed for the better, thanks to a man they have never met and who lives more than 2,500 miles away.

Daniel Valdez of Lovington, N.M., embarked on a 500-mile walk last December that took him through more than a dozen U.S. cities and across the border and into Mexico. It was his third such trip. The goal of that 16-day journey was to raise enough donations to provide “Everything for a Family with Nothing” through the international relief and development organization Food For The Poor.

“I feel so happy, and I am very excited. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that a family is going to benefit from my efforts. I thank God for that,” said Valdez.

José Canales is 43 and works the sugarcane fields in the Department of Chinandega in Nicaragua. He earns approximately $2 a day to care for his three boys and two girls. Before receiving their special gift, their home was a dirt floor house made of tree limbs, scrap pieces of zinc and mud used as mortar. Canales’ prayer has been for him to be able to provide a better life for his children. He wants them to get an education, so that they do not have to turn to the backbreaking work of cutting cane in the blistering Nicaraguan heat.

Thanks to Valdez’s generosity, the Canales family now has a new secure home with sanitation. They also will receive rice and beans for one full year, a small business project to help provide a source of income, and school supplies for all five children (including books and uniforms) plus clothing and shoes.

“We often hear stories about single mothers and their struggles to care for their children, but it’s not often we hear about single fathers. Food For The Poor donors such as Daniel are truly transforming lives,” said Angel Aloma, Executive Director of Food For The Poor. “Having a secure place to call home is vitally important, but having an education is crucial in the fight against poverty. The ‘Everything for a Family with Nothing’ donation is a beautiful gift, which provides school uniforms for two children. There were additional funds available that were used to buy school uniforms for all of the Canales children. Now all of them can attend school, which is one less worry for this hardworking father.”

Later this summer, Valdez will be making preparations for his fourth 500-mile walk. The 52- year-old says as long there are those who are homeless and hungry in the world he will continue his walks on behalf of the poor.

“I am motivated to keep going,” said Valdez. “I feel stronger than ever and I want to keep doing more because it makes me happy to help others.”

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. For more information, please visit

Wanda Wright

Food For The Poor
Public Relations Associate
954-427-2222 x 6079