Our readers may recall a story we featured over a year ago on Land Rover enthusiast James Raikes and his exciting plans to travel the Pan American Highway in two customized Land Rover Discovery II vehicles. At that time, James was in the throws of preparation, readying his vehicles for the considerable journey ahead. James caught up with us recently and provided an update on his plans and even confirmed a “launch date” for the Pan American Expedition, occurring later this fall.
On November 22, 2014, a group of approximately 24 Land Rover Enthusiasts from across the world will be setting off from Lebanon, Ohio to Colombia South America via a portion of the Pan-American Highway. The group will be shipping their vehicles to Chile in sea containers, and will then be driving up through the Atacama Desert (the driest desert in the world) into Peru, and then into the jungle of Ecuador with final destination Bogota Colombia. The team will be traveling in specially equipped Land Rovers for this expedition. This expedition titled “ DRIVE FOR SMILES – PANAMERICAN EXPEDITION ” will raise funds to benefit low income children with cancer and also plant trees and educate people on protecting water sources with hopes of providing a better future for future generations.
On arrival into Bogota, THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVER is being organized for children suffering with cancer and their families which includes puppet shows, great food, Christmas presents and an exciting twist - local children will be given the opportunity to ride as co-pilots in these specially equipped Expedition Land Rovers on a uniquely designed off-road course! The group is really excited to be able to provide this type of once-in-a-lifetime experiences for these children.
The end of the Expedition will culminate in a special concert where various groups including the band INDELUSION will be performing live. INDELUSION is graciously donating their time and 100% of the proceeds from tickets sold will benefit the Foundation “Voces por un Mundo Mejor” (Voices for a Better World), a non-profit organization located in Colombia. All of the Land Rover Vehicles will also be on display along with food, fireworks and a few more surprises for the children.
For this Expedition the group has chosen Voces Por un Mundo Mejor (Voices for a Better World) as an organization to raise funds for....(all funds raised are directly paid to them through Crowdrise / the New Venture Fund). The Expedition team chose Voces por un Mundo Mejor as they believe the group does an awesome job working to improve the quality of life for low income children and their families suffering from cancer. As an added benefit, 100% of funds received go directly to the organization (which is not always the case with non-profit groups).
The group will also be raising funds for The Nature Conservancy, a group that is very active in re-foresting the planet. and we are going to help them promote the campaign " Where does your water come from" and how it is so important to take care of natural springs and other water sources...the same applies here...all US donations are done directly through Crowdrise.
We also going to have a teacher from one of the local schools here who will be accompanying us on the expedition, and she will be reporting back to the schools during the Expedition about some of the different projects going on and places we visit.
Below are a few photos of some of land rovers discovery's taking part in the Pan American Expedition. For more information on the group and their incredible journey and philanthropic efforts, please visit www.driveforsmiles.com.
Thank you James for this wonderful update on a wonderful trip.
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