On a grey Sunday morning early this month, Santiago residents and tourists alike gathered at the foot of Cerro San Cristobal for the sixth annual “Caminata Mundial Contra el Hambre”. The event, known internationally as “End Hunger: Walk the World”, is organized as part of the United Nation’s World Food Program (WFP)and raises money to combat hunger and malnutrition across the globe. This year the event fell on June 7, and thousands of individuals showed their solidarity by participating in an astounding 190 walks around the world.
Photo courtesy Walk the World
Although all ¨Walk the World¨ events are free and open to the public, each event has a corporate sponsor that donates one euro (or the equivalent sum in local currency) for each participant in the walk. WFP´s principal corporate sponsors for the event this year were DSM, Unilever and TNT-LIT Cargo. The money raised by the Chilean branch of “Walk the World” was donated by TNT-LIT Cargo and will go towards feeding underprivileged and malnourished children in Nicaragua.
Fortunately for event organizers, the dreary weather on Sunday was not a deterrent for Santiago’s activist population. Approximately 300 people gathered to participate in the walk, matching the number of participants from last year. The early morning cold didn’t diminish the enthusiasm of the crowd either, which arrived at Cerro San Cristobal with gusto and boundless energy. While the participants waited for the walk to begin, the emcee played Merengue music and modeled the “Walk Against Hunger” hats, scarves and t- shirts that were lined up neatly on tables by the gate.
The walk began at 11 a.m. with the emcee eliciting cheers from the crowd and sending several hundred white balloons soaring into the air. One lane of the road up Cerro San Cristobal had been blocked off for the event and it was along this path that the column of cheering children, loud drums and florescent balloons began the ascent up the hill.
During the walk, volunteers helped boost energy levels by chanting over loudspeakers, banging vigorously on drums and emitting sporadic whistle bursts to motivate those who were lagging behind. At the end of the short one-mile hike, the event sponsor TNT-LIT Cargo had provided an array of games and snacks for the participants to enjoy.
Fittingly, much of Sunday’s event was geared towards children, giving Chile’s youngest generation the opportunity to help their less fortunate peers in neighboring South American countries. At the entrance of the hill, clowns, jugglers and face-painters were assembled to keep the crowd entertained, and the ground was littered with orange balloons reading ¨TNT-Cargo.¨
Despite the success of Sunday´s event, “Walk the World: Santiago” is still far from reaching their goal of raising 500,000 Euros for the WFP by the end of this year. If you were not able to attend the event but would still like to show your support for “End Hunger: Walk the World,” you can make a donation at: