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Run to Bolivia

Story Submitted (mtfrontdesk@mountaintimes.com)



Article Published: May. 17, 2012 | Modified: May. 17, 2012
Run to Bolivia

Watauga middle and high school students are planning a trip this summer to Bolivia, where they’ll work with the Andean Rural Health Initiative. In order to get there, they’ll need to raise some funds, and they’re starting with a Bolivian 5K Run/Walk this Sunday, May 20.
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Seventeen youth from local middle and high schools are planning a trip this summer to Bolivia to work with the Consejo de Salud Rural Andino (the Andean Rural Health Initiative).

The CSRA is a nongovernmental agency that provides health care to children and their families in isolated communities in the Andes Mountains of Bolivia.

The youth, who are all members of the High Country United Church of Christ, are sponsoring a Bolivian 5K Run/Walk on Sunday, May 20.

On-site registration will begin at 2 p.m. at the shelters located in the Clawson-Burnley Park, located adjacent to the Boone Greenway Trail. The run and walk will begin at 3 p.m. Registration is $20 and will include a T-shirt, while supplies last.

Allan Johnson, youth director for the High Country United Church of Christ and one of the chaperones for the event, said of the trip participants, “These young people have an amazing commitment to service. Each has been responsible for raising the funds to participate in this trip and they are all ready to work hard once they arrive in Bolivia.”

The youth will be volunteering at a local school doing construction projects, including building a basketball court for the school, and will also get to shadow health-care workers as they make home visits checking on children and family members.

Shelly Wilson, pastor for the High Country United Church and also a trip chaperone, is also impressed by the youth and their desire to be a part of this project.

“Our group is just one of many who are committed to working with the CSRA,” she said. “When they heard about what has already been done and how they could be a part of it, our church’s youth immediately wanted to go. They have dedicated the last six months to preparing for this trip and support from the Boone community will be a tremendous boost to this project.”

Grace Bowling, one of the youth participants and an entering freshman at Watauga High School in the fall, said, “I am so excited to be there. We will be planning activities for the school students, as well as building a basketball court. I just know that I am going to learn more from these children than I could ever hope to teach them. I can’t wait to bring a little bit of Boone to the Andes.”

The youth won’t just be packing their work gloves. They will also be filling their luggage with school supplies and books to share with the Bolivian schoolchildren. Participants in the Bolivian 5K Run/Walk are also encouraged to bring donations of school supplies to the race.

For more information about the Bolivian 5K Run/Walk or the High Country United Church youth trip to Bolivia, contact Allan Johnson at (828) 264-8063.

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