While you were sleeping six inspired volunteers sat upright all night in cramped airline seats as they embarked on a twenty-two day service expedition to remote Q’ero villages in the high Andes Mountains.

These courageous and dedicated volunteers have been training for many months to trek at elevations between 12,000 and 16,000 feet so they can provide service projects in three Q’ero villages. They will also deliver hundreds of pounds of donated medical supplies, educational materials, and warm clothing for the severe winter weather. More than 30 llamas will carry their donations and personal gear across the rugged trails from village to village while the team hikes the rough terrain.

Teen Clint Brinkerhoff raised over $750 for medical supplies. Expedition member Cheryl McGovern, P.A., will use the supplies in training villagers to manage traumatic injuries.

Clint Brinkerhoff recruited many hands to prepare trauma kits for distribution in three remote Q’ero villages above 12,000 feet in elevation.

Cheryl McGovern (Physician’s Assistant, Rockville, UT) will train adults in immediate care of traumatic injuries and provide kits for bleeding and broken bones. Supplies were donated by Dixie Regional Medical Center and from over $750 funds raised by teen Clint Brinkerhoff (St. George, UT) through his Eagle Scout project and were assembled by a team of youth volunteers.

Beth Ann Lehr cheers at the peak of Mount Mitchell after a 4000-foot ascent. She and Brian trained for months with daily swimming, weight lifting, and 20 hikes.

Brian Lehr shows Greg Williams, pastor of Grace Lutheran Church (Hendersonville, NC), how to make one of the 122 fleece hats created by more than 50 volunteers in his community.

Beth Ann Lehr (Child Development Specialist, Hendersonville, NC) plans to train teen girls in using the Days for Girls kits to address their monthly hygiene needs. She also created a storybook and comprehensive classroom activities to explore the five senses.

Brian Lehr (Registered Nurse, Hendersonville, NC) will provide hands-on wound and foot care to patients. He will also show families how to build low-tech hand washing stations for better hygiene. He and Beth Ann will deliver 122 fleece hats created by more than 50 volunteers at Grace Lutheran Church (Hendersonville, NC) and warm clothing donated by preschool children.

Lisa Flynn (Artist, Santa Fe, NM) has created special art activities to help youth explore and express their culture in paint and other media. She is using traditional designs in textiles as the foundation of her project. Lisa will also assist the team as one of two translators.

Malynda Madsen (Writer, St. George, UT) will profile the lives of Q’ero villagers through a series of written stories to share with you in the months ahead. Her stories will help build bridges between the Q’ero people and our supporters on several continents. Malynda will also serve as a translator for the team.

Stacy Christensen (Arts Administrator, Springdale, UT), is the expedition leader and HWF board president. She will continue video recording of personal and cultural narratives by Q’ero elders for the ongoing Q’ero Cultural Heritage Project.

Stacy will be meeting formally with the elders in each community to discuss HWF’s joint projects: schools, bathrooms, alpacas, textiles, greenhouses, and medical care. Stacy will announce the recent decision by the directors of Heart Walk Foundation to fund a dentist to provide a week of urgent dental care for all Q’ero in the region this August.

The entire team will assist with the purchase of textiles from every family for re-sale through our online TribalStore.org. We invest all store proceeds in projects in the Q’ero villages.
Watch for upcoming stories of the team’s challenges and their accomplishments.

Follow us on Facebook to see some behind-the-scenes stories about this expedition to Q’eros and the people they are serving.

Join our Global Village of Supporters

Make a donation today for schools, medical services,
nutrition, and cultural preservation projects.

Or volunteer to help our mission. A few of the ways you can help:

  • Comment on our Facebook posts so more people learn about the special Q’ero culture and how we partner with them.
  • Assist with clerical services on your own computer.
  • Translate written content from English to Spanish at your computer.
  • Shop our store Tribalstore.org for gifts or for yourself to enjoy.

Contact us to volunteer.

Penelope Eicher 435-619-0797

Heart Walk Foundation: Weaving Hope in the Andes Since 2004

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