Local Scout Bikes 1,229 Miles through Minnesota
Mitchell Gibbs, a 14-year-old Scout from Fairbault, MN, is taking the trek of the lifetime — for a cause! Taking his Scouting “…To help other people at all times” to heart, he’ll be supporting Friends of San Lucas, a non-profit organization that helps improve the quality of life for underserved Guatemalan people, assisting families work toward owning a home. He’s seen the results first hand after two trips to San Lucas Tomilán, including a one-month immersion trip. He’s chosen an a unique opportunity to give back in a big way.
On Monday, September 26th, Mitchell began a 1,229-mile bike journey across Minnesota to “raise enough money to build a home for one family in San Lucas Tomilán.”
Mitchell was inspired by Minnesotan Dan Herbeck, who began a bicycle journey to commemorate the 50th anniversary of “The Walk” — an historic mission meant to show that “extreme poverty is close enough to walk to”. In 1972, a small group including, Fr. Gregory Schaffer and two Guatemalan men, Elias Jacinto and Ronal Motta, left the front steps of the Minnesota Capitol in St. Paul and walked 3,252 miles to San Lucas Tomilán. The journey took three months to complete.
“The Walk” aimed to show that a white man, a Mayan man, and a descendant of the Spanish could come together to bring change to the community. Through fundraising efforts of “The Walk” and other efforts, the San Lucas Mission has been able to give access to healthcare, education, and housing for generations of underserved Guatemalans.
Dan Herbeck will take much of the U.S. route, ending at the Mexico border. Though he can’t travel to Mexico, Mitchell has decided to finish off the rest of those miles from “The Walk” right here in Minnesota in support of Herbeck’s efforts.
Mitchell is an 8th-grade student. He enjoys his role serving as the chaplain for his Boy Scout Troop, as well as participating on both the archery and tennis teams at Faribault High School and the robotics team at Bethlehem Academy. He volunteers at the local nursing home monthly and serves in various ways throughout the community.