- Associated Press - Saturday, December 9, 2017

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) - A single shoe reminds Silvano Pedro how blessed he is.

It used to belong to a child in Chihuahua, Mexico, who came to get new shoes from Zapatos Sin Fronteras, or Shoes Without Borders.

The child wore the small purple and black high tops as he stood in line to get his feet measured. They looked like decent shoes, if a little scuffed. Other kids in line told him to leave and save the shoes for those who needed them. He started to tear up as he got out of line.

That’s when Cesar Torres, founder of Zapatos Sin Fronteras, noticed the bottom of the shoe was completely worn through. The bottom of his foot was bare, from toe to heel.

That solidified Pedro’s passion to work with Shoes Without Borders. He began as a volunteer after a chance encounter with Torres.

Pedro, of Greeley, has worked with the Greeley nonprofit for three years now.

Torres, of Greeley, founded Zapatos Sin Fronteras in 2008. The organization works to bring shoes to children living in extreme poverty in various parts of Latin America. Zapatos Sin Fronteras takes monetary donations to buy shoes from local vendors. That way, Pedro said, they can make sure kids have the right shoes for the climate they live in while helping boost the local economy.

Zapatos Sin Fronteras continues to be a growing presence in Greeley. Local businesses such as Total Remodel Contractor Inc., La Tarahumara Market and Tortilleria La Guerrera sponsor the program. Luis Coronel, a popular Latino musician, even took notice. He was scheduled to perform a private concert for sponsors at the Moxi Theater on Tuesday. About 300 people were expected to come, said Pedro, who works as the event coordinator for Zapatos Sin Fronteras.

Most kids in the program don’t know their shoe size.

“When you come back here, you wish you could do something more and give something more,” Pedro said.

On Dec. 11, Pedro will go with Zapatos Sin Fronteras to El Rodeo, Guatemala, to serve about 300 kids.

It’s a special trip for him, he said, because Guatemala is where his family is from. He visited once when he was about 10 years old, but this will be the first time he’ll really experience it.

He’s excited for the opportunity to go back to his roots and get to know the people, he said.

“You form a bond with these kids,” Pedro said. “They treat you like family.”

___

Information from: The Tribune of Greeley, Co, http://greeleytribune.com


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