Arkansas Group Chugs Across World for Charity
Road trips are always a part of an adventurous summer. What if your road trip entailed traveling over 10,000 miles from London to Mongolia in a car with a 1-liter engine?
The Arkansas Chuggabugs, a team of four Arkansas residents, Joseph Vance, Chase Green, Michael Buckner and Alyx VanNess, traveled across one-third of the globe in a tiny yellow car they nicknamed “The Wiz.” They joined 875 participants from all over the world in the Mongol Rally to raise money for the Lotus Children’s Center in Mongolia.
The Lotus Children’s Center is a non-profit organization that works with orphaned and abandoned children in Mongolia, providing them with food, shelter and education. The money raised by the adventurous teams in the rally is donated directly to the Lotus Center.
In addition to raising money for the Lotus Children’s Center, the Chuggabugs also raised money for Heifer International, an organization that provides food, livestock and agricultural training to poverty-stricken families around the world.
The Mongol Rally began in 2004 with six teams. Each team was required to raise a minimum of 1,000 euros for charity. The goal of the rally was to travel from London, England, to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, in less than six weeks using a car or motorbike with a 1-liter engine.
This summer, the rally included 297 teams who were able to raise 2 million euros for the Lotus Children’s Center.
The Arkansas Chuggabugs began their journey on July 14 at the UK launch party at Goodwood Motor Circuit. They were able to meet other ralliers and camp out before starting their journey.
The Mongol Rally has no specific route for its participants. Teams are encouraged to travel however they like as long as they begin at the starting point and end in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, during one of the three finish-line parties.
After leaving Goodwood, the Chuggabugs decided to travel through France and stop in Brussels, where they stayed the night
with Green’s brother. After a couple of days in Brussels, the team continued on their journey to meet the rally in the Czech Republic at the “Czech Out Party.” They camped and met other participants in the rally from all over the world.
The travelers then went on to Krakow, Poland, Prague, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. They camped and stayed in hostels.
The Chuggabugs finally arrived in Mongolia on Aug. 23. They updated their fans and supporters on Facebook by posting, “After six weeks of grueling roads and hospitable ralliers, the Chuggabugs have arrived in Ulaanbaatar. We are kind of in one piece.”