10,000 mile bicycle journey focus of April 29 presentation at Goshen College

(L-R) Matthew Helmuth, Michael Miller, Levi Smucker and Abe Stucky pose for a photo in the Paraguayan Chaco near the beginning of their 10,000-mile bicycle journey.

Presentation: A Pan-American Mennonite Cycle Tour
Date and time: Tuesday, April 29 at 7 p.m.
Location: Goshen College Church-Chapel
Cost: Free and open to the public
Sponsors: Goshen College Institute for Global Anabaptism and College Mennonite Church

An 11-month, 10,000-mile bicycle journey came to an end last week in Goshen. On Tuesday, April 29, at 7 p.m. in the Goshen College Church-Chapel, three Goshen College graduates will share stories from their remarkable journey from Paraguay to Goshen.

Michael Miller, Levi Smucker and Abe Stucky, all 2013 Goshen College graduates, left Asuncion on May 1, 2013 after a three-week Anabaptist-Mennonite history class in Paraguay. A third graduate, Matthew Helmuth, joined the group for the first three months.


The group spent most days of their 11-month journey biking, but also spent time working and serving. Miller and Stucky spent about six weeks at Hacienda Ilitio near Cotopaxi National Park in Ecuador, where they volunteered through World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF). Smucker spent three months volunteering with MAP Internacional Sección, a non-profit organization that works in community health and development around the world, based in Quito, Ecuador. As another way of documenting what they experienced along the way and doing some informal research, they also talked to Anabaptist groups and contributed to the Global Anabaptist Wiki.

Much of the time was spent with hosts along the way, using connections from church, college and friends. But the group overwhelmingly relied on the support of strangers they met on the trail, along with a fair amount of camping.

The countries the group traveled through, in order, are: Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico and the United States.