Hyundai has successfully celebrated the sixteenth Edition of El Desierto de los Niños after two and a half years of inactivity due to the forced closure of the borders as a result of the Coronavirus. The Solidarity Caravan of the Children’s Desert has traveled almost 2,000 km in Moroccan territory, a caravan of 25 vehicles led by the 16 Hyundais, a brand that this year has been represented by all the models of its 4×4 range: KONA, TUCSON and SANTA FE , in addition to the new STARIA minivan, which has been released in the desert with surprising results. And it has done so outside its usual Easter dates, which have been changed for the end of summer, with which the heat has been one of the main protagonists of an edition that had water as its common thread, a very scarce commodity. in remote desert towns.
The route of this sixteenth edition of the trip started by the sea, in the Caves of Hercules, near Tangier, where, according to legend, Hercules rested one night before performing one of his twelve labors. A cave from whose interior you can see the sea through an opening that has a shape similar to the map of Africa. Continuing with the theme of water, on the way to the desert, a lake was visited at the top of the Atlas, at more than 2,000 meters of altitude. Once in the south of Morocco, they passed through oases, orchards in the middle of nowhere thanks to the water, and one of the great solidarity actions of the trip was carried out, which was the inauguration of a series of wells in Kankimia, a small town in the middle of nothing. Thanks to the initiative carried out by the Hyundai Dealer Network ‘Water in the desert’, the necessary money was raised to bring water to all the houses in that locality, equipping them with fresh water wells, pumps, solar panels, pipes, a tank, etc. Everything necessary so that the inhabitants of this small population of nomads can have this basic necessity, both for themselves and for their animals. The ‘Water in the desert’ project was conceived at the beginning of 2020 and had not been inaugurated to date, although the wells had been active since then.
In 2022, the new initiative ‘Bicycles for all’ has been added to this project, which was born with the aim of improving the mobility of children from small desert towns. Throughout the year, local associations that collaborate with El Desierto de los Niños, without whose help the management of solidarity actions would be impossible, will look for small schools whose students live far away. Many children have difficulty going to school because their homes are several kilometers away and they do not have a means of transport to get around every day, so in most cases they do it on foot. Thanks to this project of the Hyundai Dealer Network, they will be given a bicycle to go to school. In addition, and thanks to a RACE initiative, these children will receive a reflective vest that allows them to be seen better on their night journeys, improving their safety.
This year all kinds of routes have been enjoyed, among which the day that ended in the town of Ouzina stood out, which was reached through a complicated area of sand, which added a spicy note to the route. In addition, to avoid the hottest hours, that day started later, so the arrival in Ouzina was done at night. Quite an experience to see the entire caravan roll in the darkness of the desert.
Leopoldo Satrustegui , General Manager of Hyundai Motor Spain, stated that “Hyundai has always been a caring company, as evidenced by the fact that in 2004, when companies were still not talking about these things, Hyundai already supported the most disadvantaged people in the Moroccan desert. especially the children.” Leopoldo Satrustegui also “wants to thank the Hyundai Dealer Network for its contribution to El Desierto de los Ninos thanks to different actions carried out to raise funds to be able to carry out the different actions carried out in recent editions, such as building schools, wells of water with their respective electrical installations or the supply of bicycles to favor the mobility of children”. In short, “companies have to give back to society what society gives them,” he added.