The official handover of the two donated road/trail Honda NX 125
Bros models, colour 'rossi' to the Argentinean NGO Fundación
Pilotos Solidarios is shown above. Photos & specifications of
the bikes can be viewed here.
Pilotos Solidarios has a website at http://www.pilotosolidarios.com.ar/ you may need to use a web translation to comprehend the mostly Spanish
format. The homepage has a link to the DOCV site. All members of
Pilotos Solidarios are volunteers and unsalaried, committing their
time to address the health of remote poor and indigenous communities
in northern Argentina.
The above photo shows from L to R.
1. Mary Ann Jackson who accompanied Ralph on the one month trip
to Argentina, Ecuador & Colombia.
2. Elizabeth Fleck has worked with Dr. Gerardo Solá in the
Hospital de Clínicas since 1999. She is the organizer of
meetings, public relations and fundraising for the Fundación.
3. María Pasini is a/the leading female motocross rider
in Argentina. She is a professional motorcycle trainer who will
train medical/health volunteers on riding and maintenance before
they use the bikes to reach rural areas. She contributes funds from
her riding academy to support Pilotos Solidarios.
4. Centrally behind the two crated bikes is Mario Sztein, proprietor
of Olivos Motos who kindly allowed a generous reduction on the normal
retail price of the two bikes. This was of great service to offset
a price increase that occurred during the several months of negotiation
between DOCV and Pilotos Solidarios and the inevitable delays due
to red tape.
5. Gerardo Solá; President of Fundación Pilotos Solidarios.
Medical doctor, 50 years old.Orthopaedic oncology surgeon. Director
of The Tissue Bank for Human Transplantation at the British Hospital
of B. Aires. Personally selected by the late Simon Milward to establish
a Riders for Health project to help of isolated rural inhabitants
of Latin America. Trained during November 2004 in ‘zero breakdown’
motorcycle health delivery by Willy Ballawala of Health for All
Indonesia who established the first such project outside Africa
on the island of Flores Indonesia.
6. Ralph Green DOCV representative at the ceremony.
Not Shown: Dr. Carlos Pacheco; 71 years old. He is the Secretary
of the Fundación. Medical Doctor in Paediatrics. Experienced
motorcycle rider who works as a Counsellor in the Health Ministry,plus
an increasing number of volunteers with qualifications in dentistry,
ophthalmology, public health sanitation, etc. As previously mentioned
all are volunteers. So far Gerardo has been making monthly trips
north to the regions of Santiago del Estero and extremely isolated
Indian communities high in the Andean mountains near Salta. These
take up about a week of the volunteer teams time and have so far
been mostly funded at Gerardo Sola’s own expense. Fortunately
now that the Fundación is receiving an increasing amount
of acknowledgement in the Argentinean and Latin American press (spurred
by the press release of the DOCV donation) there is some prospect
of this personal financial burden being relieved.
Although my time in BA was short – a jetlagged two days –
I was able to speak extensively with Gerardo and Elizabeth on the
evening of the 26th December thanks to a dinner invitation at Gerardo’s
parent’s apartment in the B.A. neighbourhood of Las Cañitas.
After this enjoyable interaction I can confidently assure the DOCV
that the club’s donations have been gratefully received by
a dedicated and talented team. Who have a completely professional
and multi-disciplinary approach to addressing the misery of disease
and primary health problems amongst some of the most isolated and
service deprived groups in Latin America. Gerardo is a man of considerable
abilities, knowledge and professional accomplishments. A high achiever,
excellent communicator who is able motivate others through his own
selfless actions. A good example of how the Fundación operates
is given by the following examples:
During the spring and summer in Santiago del Estero the local communities
are exposed to increased numbers of active venomous snakes inevitably
resulting in bites. The team’s solution was to advise wearing
of gaiters made of leather – a material readily available.
Further to this, several snakes were trapped by Gerardo’s
team, taken back to B.A. and delivered to a serum laboratory to
assess the viability of developing an anti-venom.
When it was discovered that the water supply had high levels of
arsenic that seep in from naturally occurring deposits in the region’s
rocks, Gerardo asked a sanitation engineer to visit with the team
who is now working on a simple cheap water filter that will trap
The DOCV will be receiving regular reports from Pilotos Solidarios
keeping the club up to date with the NGOs activities including the
use of the donated motorcycles. Further donations of a personal
nature or from other motorcycle clubs or organisations are welcome.
A fleet of bikes would be the ideal. Sponsors / donors should get
in touch with the DOCV www.docv.org or email