Why would 500 teens walk 25 km uphill?

Before walking 25 km, these teenagers would need to arrive at the starting point via some sort of mass transportation that does not exist here in the jungle.  Solution.....improvise:

Starting elevation of 238 meters (781 ft) above sea level.  The walk was broken into 2 days of ~12.5 km each day.  The temperature on the first day was approaching 95 degrees F.  Starting point was Tingo de Ponaza, San Martin, Peru (if you click on this link, it will hopefully show you the Google Map of the walk).  Ending point is Shamboyacu, San Martin, Peru.  The road is covered in asphalt so it is easy to walk but it is HOT!

Ready to find out the reason these teenagers went on this walk?

The reason was the 5th Annual Pilgrimage Walk to Shamboyacu!  This year was very special because we have been celebrating the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima appearing to the three shepherd children, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta!  To learn more about the Fatima 100th Anniversary, please visit the link: https://www.ewtn.com/fatima/our-lady.asp
    We kicked off on Friday with mass in the plaza in Tingo de Ponaza

Padre Francisco (Fr. Francis) animating the youth with a song on the guitar during the walk.
I took a turn on guitar to animate all of the youth during the pilgrimage walk!

The arrival into Shamboyacu!!!

Everyone arrived to the church for a time of prayer!!!

 There was a concert each night for the youth which was full of high-energy praise and worship!

The final night was capped off with fireworks, Peruvian style on a "castillo" or castle!

Throughout the pilgrimage, there was much time for prayer and contemplation.  There were many priests available (thanks to 2 additional Spanish priests visiting from Spain and additional priests from other parishes) to hear confessions.  In addition, there was a great group of college students from Moyobamba that gave talks on Fatima and also lead small discussion groups during the pilgrimage.  I encourage each of you to go on a pilgrimage and to learn more about the history of pilgrimages and to find out about a few near you, click on this link: http://catholicism.org/catholic-pilgrimage-a-spiritual-journey.html

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