Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - At 6:30 pm on Saturday, December 1, 2012, the first "Walk for Life" began its march from Lazaro Cardenas Park, proceeding up the famed Malecon to the arches, then back to the park again.
As part of the World AIDS Day celebration, PV's first Walk for Life was organized by SETAC to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS. More than 150 men and women marched with pride, dignity, solidarity, and solemnity, carrying candlelit torches in the early evening darkness.
At the conclusion of the walk, participants placed their candlelit torches in a semicircle in front of the stage set up for this very special occasion.
"This is just the beginning," said SETAC Executive Director Paco Arjona in his opening remarks to the returning marchers. "It is the first Walk for Life held in our city and SETAC is proud to host it."
Continuing the celebration, local guitar duo Blue and Midnight performed a brief, upbeat set, proceeded by the Puerto Vallarta Mens Chorus singing both emotional and uplifting songs in honor of the event. Club Eros' "Olga" followed with a final, amazing performance.
On the Thursday and Friday before this unprecedented show of solidarity, the second annual HIV Rapid Test Marathon took place in the same park, providing more than 130 free HIV tests while passing out free condoms, and brochures concerning the prevention of AIDS and HIV."We will be doing this every year," concluded Arjona, "and we ask for your continued support in our effort to help those impacted by the AIDS pandemic and to finally put an end to it both here in Mexico and everywhere else in the world."