April 10, 2014

Mexico City: Hundreds of Adventist Youth Walk for Health Awareness

Hundreds of Seventh-day Adventist young people
took to Mexico City’s main avenue on April 6, 2014, to walk, raise awareness of
healthy living, and to counter the wave of obesity affecting millions of people
in the city and across the country.

Some 2,000 young people took off from the heart
of the city from the Monument of the Angel of Independence landmark holding
signs, banners and shouting “Quiero Vivir Sano” or “I Want to Live Healthy”
towards the Monument to the Revolution where onlookers and transit goers were
invited to participate in exercises and receive medical diagnosis related to
obesity and its effects.

Participants engage in a series of exercises at the Monumento a la Revolucion during the four-hour activity. [Photos: Dania Aragon] The two-kilometer walk on a closed transit lane
saw groups of young people from dozens of Adventist churches in the city taking
turns shouting “I Want to Live Healthy,” and listing the eight natural remedies
the initiative is based on: water, rest, exercise, sunshine, air, nutrition,
temperance and hope.

“We wanted to let the city know the health
principles that the church has and the eight natural remedies that can benefit
every person,” said Dr. Jose Dzul, health ministries director for the church in
Central Mexico

Once at the Revolution Monument, young people
were welcomed by the Federal District’s Ministry of Health Coordinator of the
program Muevete or Let’s Move Araceli
Castañeda. Castañeda thanked the church and its young people for the activity
which supports the programs that the federal government has to promote physical
activity to lower the high percentages of men, women and school age children
affected by obesity in the city and its surrounding metropolitan area.

“I am so glad to see young people participating
in this activity and sharing the eight basic remedies that show that it is
possible to live a happy and healthy life,” said Castaneda. “I congratulate you
for the work you are doing so that society can improve its quality of life.”

Young people participated in a series of
exercises presented by the National Commission of Physical Culture and Sports
(Conade), as well as donated more than 200 liters of blood to the National
Blood Transfusion Center onsite.

Coordinating the walk between the two main church
regions in Mexico City was not an easy task, said Pastor Javier Muñoz, Sabbath
School director for the church in Central Mexico and coordinator of the walk.

“We are so delighted that so many of our young
people took part in this activity,” said Muñoz. “We know that this walk will
help our youth be conscious of the importance of taking care of their body as
the temple of the Holy Spirit and they will be able to share this message of a
healthy lifestyle in their churches and communities.”

Fourteen-year old Diego Gonzalez of the Pegasus
Pathfinder Club at the Tacubaya Adventist Church said the experience was
exciting. “I’m so happy I participated in this event, it was so worth getting
up early,” said Gonzalez.

Adventist leaders and church members across
Mexico’s five major church regions are scheduled to hold similar walks and
activities promoting a healthy lifestyle with the program “I Want to Life

The walk was part of a series of Big City impact
initiatives held in Mexico City since the year began. During the last two
weeks, ministers and international evangelists from across the Inter-American
Division have held 200 evangelistic campaigns in the mega city to climax with a
satellite program at the 22,000-seater Arena de Mexico this
Saturday, April 12, 2014.