ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – It happens more than you may think– human trafficking. Just last year, Bernalillo County Deputies busted a spot in the North Valley, where they say human trafficking was alive and well. Cases like this one is why a group is spreading awareness by biking across the country.
It’s called Worthwhile Go. Four guys are making their way from Fargo, North Dakota to San Antonio, Texas, all to put an end to what they call modern day slavery.
“We didn’t know how real it was until we were confronted with the problem,” said Atlas.
Atlas is talking about an experience he and his brother had on their first trek cross country two years ago. On their walk from New Jersey to L.A., the two were able to rescue three girls in Kansas. They say the girls have been an inspiration them ever since.
The sex ring where BCSO says human trafficking was going on was right across the street from a bike park and a fire station. It just goes to show, trafficking could be right under our noses.
“Human trafficking is well and alive in Albuquerque,” said Worthwhile Go Founder Jay Atlas.
By the end of the summer, Atlas will have trekked 13,000 miles since 2013. In just a few weeks, he and three others will arrive in Albuquerque. It’s not the first time, though. He and his brother walked through the metro on their first journey two years ago.
“It’s interesting demographics in the population. There’s a great church community that I connected with. I’d love to be able to see those folks again but the folks in the area are good people. There’s some great food. I’m excited about that,” recalled Atlas.
Atlas told KRQE News 13 the last time they came through New Mexico, he remembers folks being absolutely astonished by the distance they had walked. He adds, people heard their message.
They made a second journey across the US last year and this year they’re doing it again. This time, they’re doing it on bicycles.
So, why bikes? Atlas says it allows them to reach people on a more personal level. He says that’s important because most people don’t know the details of human trafficking or what it would like like in their area.
“Driving would be convenient. You certainly cover more space, but you miss the communities, especially the small communities. You know, we cycle through a town the four of us stick out pretty well,” said Atlas.
Worthwhile Go’s main goal is to raise awareness about human trafficking, but Atlas tells News 13 there’s a secondary goal– to raise $10,000 for Worthwhile Wear’s housing program, the Well. They’ve already opened one safe house. Now, they’re trying to finish that project and begin the next.
The men expect to make it to Albuquerque on July 13th. They say there are lots of opportunities to get involved in the fight against trafficking.
For more information about Worthwhile Go, click here.