Issue: 2017-02-08, PHOTO: Paul Carrick
Eldo Enns and friends in Guatemala on Cause Canada journey 2014
Dawson City’s Eldo Enns has found the best of both worlds. Ten years ago, Enns saw an ad in Cycle Canada magazine by Cause Canada, a Canadian NGO that provides sustainable, integrated community development in rural West Africa and Central America. The ad caught Enns’ eye because it offered a guided motorcycle trip, in either of the two countries, to communities where Cause Canada runs several charitable programs.
Enns has been an avid motorcyclist for years; the idea of riding bikes while contributing to charity intrigued him.
“I come from a family where charitable donation is who you are,” says Enns. “This was a chance to do what I love and support a good cause – it was truly the best of both worlds.”
His first trip was to West Africa. This year, he and four friends are going to Guatemala. These trips, however, are a little bit different than your average guided tour.
Before they leave Canada, Enns and friends will actually buy the motorcycles they’ll be riding. They send the money to Cause Canada, who then purchase the bikes in the country they will be visiting. The government of Canada makes an equal or greater contribution, while Enns and friends will receive a charitable receipt. Cause Canada then puts the money towards projects like immunization, micro-financing, business loans and training, maternal newborn child health, delivering safe drinking water, and providing educational opportunities to rural communities.
On February 20, Enns and friends will pick up the motorcycles they have bought and begin seven days of riding some of the most challenging back roads in Guatemala.
“We all love riding motorcycles and have been doing it for years,” says Enns. “You really do get your money’s worth.”
Along with Cause Canada’s founder Paul Carrick and a local guide, the men will visit the projects and activities they are helping to fund. In the meantime, they will also be breaking in the bikes that they will later donate to the local men and women who work for Cause Canada and visit the communities to keep these projects going. Approximately 10 bikes a year are donated to these community workers.
Even though this is his fifth trip with Cause Canada, Enns still enjoys the special cultural experience of every trip, along with the feeling that he is doing something good. Seeing the effects of his contributions make is especially gratifying, he says.
“The people are fantastic. We always get a good reception wherever we go. It’s very humbling.”
For more information on Cause Canada, go to www.Cause.ca.