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Woodstock brothers returning to Colombia for another mission

Brothers Aaron Cooper (left) and Nathan Cooper, of rual Woodstock, pose for a portrait March 9 at the Woodstock Harley Davidson. On Tuesday, the brothers plan to finish riding their Enduro bikes to the southern tip of South America. In 2012 the brothers trip was cut short in Colombia, because of a broken leg Nathan suffered in a crash there.
Brothers Aaron Cooper (left) and Nathan Cooper, of rual Woodstock, pose for a portrait March 9 at the Woodstock Harley Davidson. On Tuesday, the brothers plan to finish riding their Enduro bikes to the southern tip of South America. In 2012 the brothers trip was cut short in Colombia, because of a broken leg Nathan suffered in a crash there.

WOODSTOCK – It’s time for the Cooper brothers to finish what they started.

Almost two and a half years after first setting out for Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, on their Enduro motorcycles, the Woodstock brothers are ready to get back to Colombia to finish a trip that was cut short there because of a broken leg suffered by Nathan Cooper.

“[We’ve] saved up the money, and Nathan is ready to go so the time is right,” said Aaron Cooper, Nathan’s older brother. “This is the adventure of a lifetime.”

With a lengthy rehabilitation process behind Nathan Cooper, 27, the brothers are eager to return to Colombia where their motorcycles have remained in the care of the same loving Colombian family who also performed surgery on Nathan Cooper after his crash.

The setback and injury has not deterred the sons of a pastor from accomplishing their mission: reach the southern most point of South America while helping as many people as they can along the way.

During the first leg of their trip through the southwestern United States, Mexico and Central America, the Coopers made time for some charitable work helping at Mision Vida Nueva in Guatemala where they spent time with orphans. The brothers also stopped in Panama at Alouatta Lodge, a sanctuary and rehabilitation center for monkeys.

With more than 3,500 miles still to go, Aaron Cooper said they plan on doing more to help the people at the places they stop.

One mission Aaron Cooper knows will be on the agenda is helping the People of Peru Project – an organization dedicated to helping the 600,000 people of Iquitos, a city surrounded by thousands of square-miles of jungle with almost no infrastructure.

“We didn’t get to stop and help as much as we wanted to last time because we had a set return date,” Aaron Cooper said. “We don’t have a return date this time, which is refreshing. We don’t want to be tourists. We want to participate in some of the everyday life.”

Aaron Cooper said the trip could last as long as five months and he is in no rush to end what could be his last large adventure. Aaron Cooper, a 10-year veteran of the Army, said his work with special operations allowed him to see the world, but with a focus on the darker side of humanity.

He said the South American trip with his brother has restored his faith in the kindness of people; whether it was the stranger in Colorado offering gas money, the man in Mexico who brought them empanadas or the Colombian family that still watches over their motorcycles.

“People help us more than we help them,” Aaron Cooper said of those they have encountered on the trip. “The world really is a wonderful place.”

If this ends up being the last long adventure the brothers take together, it certainly won’t be the last time either travels. Nathan Cooper, who worked in Korea and then Vietnam as an English teacher, plans to help build English curriculum in Morocco after the trip.

Aaron Cooper also will feed his appetite for adventure by working in international banking that will frequently take him to Europe.

“I’ve always led a life of adventurem” Aaron Cooper said. “ I don’t think I will ever stop.”

To learn more

Aaron and Nathan Cooper documented the first part of their journey in detail through photos, video and blog posts. Visit www.endurobros.com to learn more about their trip and see the progress of their second venture.

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