Run with Willy!

On March 1st, Willy will travel to Mexico’s rugged Copper Canyon to run alongside some of the most skilled Tarahumara athletes on the planet.

Winding mountains roads of the Copper Canyon (Photo credit: Bob Ingelhart)

The race, called the “Caballo Blanco” or White Horse marathon, was established in 2003 as a way for the Tarahumara to “preserve their culture and running heritage.” The event has since been novelized in the well-known book Born to Run.

Traditional Tarahumara “huarache” sandals

Incredibly, the Tarahumara run for up to 200 miles at a time without any professional training or expensive running gear. Many have herded cattle and goats since age 3 or 4 and are very familiar with the mountain trails. They compete wearing sandals crafted from recycled rubber tires and strips of leather- and they win.

Tarahumara children running in a race

The Caballo Blanco marathon (and accompanying 50 mile ultramarathon) takes place in the small town of Urique. The day before the race, 1,000 Tarahumara boys and girls will participate in a children’s run and will be awarded clothes and school supplies.

An elderly Tarahumara woman walks home to her village

We were recently surprised to hear one Tarahumara man’s explanation for their drive behind running: “not losing” and “not going hungry.” Tarahumara participants in the Caballo Blanco receive corn vouchers for running the race, in addition to a cash prize for the winner. If they hit certain checkpoints along the course, they obtain vouchers that can be redeemed for food as well. Many of the Tarahumara depend on these staples to feed their families as they are subsistence farmers whose crops may fail due to drought.

Running the Caballo Blanco represents much more than an athletic event for our family. Since August 2018, we have served the Tarahumara people providing pediatric and general surgical care. Though many Tarahumara come to the hospital seeking physical healing, many have received a deeper inner healing through an encounter with Christ. Our desire is to remain in Mexico and make a positive long-term impact in the health of this community.

Welcoming a beautiful newborn girl at the misison hospital

You can join us in making a difference in the lives of these people who need it most.  Will you #runwithwilly and partner with Christian Health Service Corps so that we can continue to provide medical care in Mexico? Our goal is to raise $5,000 per month to cover necessary insurance, medical licensing, immigration fees, living costs and ministry expenses while in Mexico. We are seeking donors who would commit to give $30, $50, or $100 per month to help meet this goal. If you have any questions, just connect with us on the “contact” tab on this blog’s homepage.

Here’s how you can help:
– Share this campaign with family and friends! We want to thank those of you who are already sharing about our ministry in Mexico.

– Sign up to become a monthly donor, or make a one-time gift through our secure online donation page: simply text “Bustinza” to 71777 or go to

– As race day nears, follow us on Facebook and Instagram at Bustinzas Beyond Borders to learn more about the Tarahumara and track Willy’s training progress!

– Please pray that our family would be fully funded so that we can continue to provide care in Mexico.

Mateteraba! (Thank you in Tarahumara)

The Bustinzas

To donate by mail: make checks payable to Christian Health Service Corps
Write: “Project 171” on the memo line
Mailing address: PO Box 132 Fruitvale, TX 75127

Matching gifts: will your employer match your donation? Go to to search for your company and see how you can double your donation.

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