Peace. It is such a simple word, but it is packed with so much meaning within its 5 little letters. But what does it really mean? When first planning for our 2nd annual Trek for Peace, it was estimated that we would have about 40 participants. September 21st marked the 34th annual International Peace Day and we wanted to be a part of this worldwide movement. As being the right-hand-girl to Kris’s UrbanTrekkers Honduras program, I was eager to plan this day and spread the word about peace to the youth and community of Copán. Forty people, forty notebooks, forty portions of cake, forty servings of food. Check. Five destinations along the way, one bus to lead us, 8 activities, 4 presentations, and one megaphone. Check. Things were coming together beautifully. But as we planners know, you never can plan perfectly. To our marvelous surprise we found out that we had almost three times as many people show up Sunday morning wanting to show their support and learn about peace. Wow!
The UPH office was packed with white shirts from all over Copán- different students from multiple schools, teachers, and UPH staff. As our trek started, white filled the streets as we proudly marched with symbols of peace and smiles on our face.
Our first speaker of the day, Tiersa, shared with us about Casita Copan and how her organization is bringing peace to the lives of kids single moms, orphans, and moms who need guidance on child raising. I think this was a great opportunity for the group to see that there is a need for love in the community and that one person really can help to bring peace into the lives of others.
The group was asked to look deeper into what God defines as Peace. Jason taught us about the Hebrew word “Shalom” and the type of inner peace that God wants us to share with Him and with others in the world. What would our world look like if we had perfect peace?”“Where is peace missing?” “How can we bring more peace into the world?” “Are you at peace with God?” In the end, although increased participation can be very stressful for the one doing the planning, one must remember that He is the one really doing the planning.
We must embrace life’s curveballs and open the doors to those who want in on the good stuff. This year’s Trek for Peace showed us as leaders and those as followers, the significance of walking in solidarity with others. Not only were we here in Copán walking for peace, but millions around the world were walking with us. You could see it. You could feel it.
There is no doubt that we touched the hearts and minds of many on this day. Peace is kind of like that though. Only five simple letters, but it carries the capacity to sweep away worry, doubt, violence, pain, and heartache to bring about tranquility, happiness, stillness, hope, nonviolence and acceptance. P-E-A-C-E. What does it mean to YOU?
Check out a video of our trek !