Day 60: Guerilla Guardians

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February 29, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra

Aah, February 29.  Leap Year Day.  It comes but 0.25 times per year and it’s a thing worth remarking.  Take advantage of this 24-hour bonus because it won’t be around again for a while.  In light of that, I’m dedicating this Leap Year Day to a project that will reach its funding goal within these most extraordinary Wednesday.  There’s no shortage of projects ending today, but it honestly didn’t take me long to get captivated by today’s project.  Check it out and I think you’ll understand why.

The Little Firemen is a documentary exploring the incredible (nearly unbelievable) story of a group of unsung heroes, departing their homes and taking to the treacherous shipping routes that traverse the Andes mountains on home-made, wooden go-carts loaded with coffee, food, water and tools, in an effort to rescue stranded travelers and victims of some of the most dangerous roads in the world.  Did I mention that most of them are children?

Deep in the Andes Mountains, in Peru, there is a treacherous stretch of road between Huánuco and Tingo Maria. Known as one of the most traveled and dangerous roads in South America, it sees hundreds of large shipping trucks every day. It certainly is not a road for the inexperienced or unprepared.

Along this stretch of road, there are young boys (the ages of 8-12) who work as mechanics and life savers for stranded truckers. These young boys “ride” in homemade wooden soapbox cars, or go-carts, with food, water, coffee, and a toolbox. They are known along the highway as “Bomberos” or Firemen.

Wow.  What were you doing when you were 12?  Their rescue missions can take them hundreds of miles from home across some of the most dangerous routes on earth, and on vehicles that would make Evil Knievel think twice.  Even he wore a helmet.  Is it reckless?  Is it crazy?  Have they saved lives?

Quincy Perkins and his film-making team are turning to Kickstarter to fund a documentary to tell the amazing story of Los Bomberos.  They’re traversing South America in hopes of uncovering the reality behind these bold gangs of grassroots, cart-riding (thrill-seeking?) guardian angels; shedding light on life throughout these perilous voyages.

Help The Little Firemen make it to film festivals around the world by backing it on Kickstarter before the 9:00 PM (EST) tonight (Feb. 29) – you won’t have another chance to back a project like this for a long time.


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