093 Freedom Hikes with Laura Esquivel

093 Freedom Hikes with Laura Esquivel

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We have this insane gift of freedom. We get to wander wherever we want. We get to go to places like the Enchantments. There are people everyday, waking up in sexual slavery - in captivity. Because you are choosing to put your boots to the ground and do something about it, those lives that are waking up captive, will one day be set free.
— Laura Esquivel

Laura Esquivel started Freedom Hikes a year ago to raise money, hoping she could help set people free from sexual slavery. Rescue Freedom is the organization that she funnels her raised money to. Thirty hikers joined her, raising $21,000 in her first year.

Of the 30 hikers joining Laura, some didn’t train as much as she would have hoped. They hiked the Enchantment all the way through in one day. It is a 24 mile trail end to end. Laura describes some folks in the group having "found" themselves out in the woods that day, in some cases overcoming depression themselves while raising money for those in a horrible position.

I asked Laura why she started Freedom Hikes. “I’ve always known about sexual slavery and human trafficking. I was hiking near Lake Viviane in the Enchantments and came up with the idea right there!”

She decided to setup the event into three days of hiking for 2018, adding 18 hikers to her list. This will raise her total number of hikers to 48. It is important to her to keep the numbers down to lessen the impact to the trails and other hikers. She also follows wants to follow the group rules while hiking.

Rescue Freedom is located in Kirkland, Washington. They fund safe houses and counseling all over the world. All of the money they raise will see people through the process from removal to reintigration to a more stable living situation. 

With the 48 hikers this year, the Freedom Hikes goal is $75,000!

Laura is a trail runner and marathoner from the Tri Cities area of Washington. She grew up hiking the I-90 corridor and talks about her love of getting people outdoors for the first time. She takes her three boys out hiking whenever they can get out.

Go to- freedomhike.wordpress.com


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094 Disco Author, Podcaster and Documentariam

094 Disco Author, Podcaster and Documentariam

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