Movement to bring peace comes to Chicagoland July 2
By Frank Aguilar
Mario Nieves was 28 when he set out on his motorcycle in 1977 to carry a message of peace, brotherhood and respect traveling through 23 nations including in North and South America, Europe and the Middle East.
Now, 40 years later, Nieves, 68, says he has helped launch 200 motorcycle chapters with more than 10,000 members who embrace his vision of a world where people of all faiths and ethnic backgrounds can come together to help those in need.
Later this month, Nieves will head a national rally of representatives who will be coming from the 23 nations around the world at a conference in Chicago at 1301 North Sacramento Street beginning June 29 through July 2, 2017 from noon until 8 pm each day.
“We know that we can’t change the way the world is, but we can bring people together under a banner of brotherhood to make a statement that it doesn’t matter what your religion or nationality or ethnicity is, we can call come together in peace,” Nieves said.
“It doesn’t matter if you are Hispanic, Black, White or Asian. It doesn’t matter if you are a Muslim, Christian, Jew or an atheist. What matters is that we respect each other and come together to remind people that we are really all the same.”
The event Humboldt Park event will feature musical entertainment, food vendors, and carnival rides. Performers include Frank-Ruiz Jr., Angel Melendez & 911 Orchestra, La Obra, Banda el Recoerdo, Mike Dangeroux Orchestra and DJ Ra Ra.
Nieves said he has taken this message around the world using his motorcycle as a means of getting people’s attention and respect.
“The response to all this has been tremendous,” Nieves said.
“We established 11 motorcycle chapters in Cuba. We are the only American entity allowed to operate in Cuba.”
Nieves said the group has chapters in Germany, Switzerland, France, Canada, the United States, Egypt, the Philippines and throughout all the Americas.
“I believe we are the number one motorcycle club in Latin America, but we want to be the number one club all around the world,” said Nieves, a military veteran who served in the Army during the Vietnam War from 1969 until 1971.
“We want to set the example that motorcycle riders are the people you can come to in order to pursue peace.”
Nieves said motorcyclists will be meeting this Sunday at Pilots Travel Plaza at I-57 South of I-80, to escort him home ending a 16-month ride to unite the Americas with his message of brotherhood. The celebratory welcome will take place at Division and Rockwell Streets, and then to the group’s clubhouse at 3519 W. Fullerton Ave.
For more information on LAMA (Latin American Motorcycle Association) Chicago, contact the national president of LAMA at 708-872-LAMA.
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