Why I Ride

The battle within: a letter to the girls

To the young children & women I am biking for,

I am getting on a bike this summer. I am pedaling 1,700 miles down the Pacific Coast because I want to fight for you. I will meet people who have no idea what you have endured. The pain you have felt. The constant feelings of confusion and unworthiness you encountered everyday. I am biking to start a conversation about the injustice you were dealt. How cruel, unfair, and problematic sex trafficking is. How this problem is one that is a hidden billion dollar industry. How people are actually willing to pay money and use your body. You were made to be something beautiful and empowering. You still are that. I will never know the suffering and fear you have felt. I will never know your story and what you have been through. However, what I do know is that I love you. I love the strength, bravery, courage, boldness, and willingness to keep fighting even when the darkness feels like it’s taking over. How you didn’t stop fighting to breathe and to be you. I love that you are free now and will have the opportunity for the first time in your life to have something that is beautifully your own.

Right now, you are (or soon will be) at an amazing place called The Refuge Ranch located right outside of Austin, TX. This place serves as a holistic and therapeutic place for you to heal. A place to be loved and a home where you can find your passions and be yourself. The beautiful woman you were created to be. The Refuge provides you an education. It provides you a safe place. It even provides you a sweet bed that is all yours, and no one else’s. Fresh clothes, sheets, and other young women to relate to who have endured a similar circumstance to you. So, sweet friend I truly love you. So much that this year when our team of 9 other women gathered to set a goal to raise $250,000 to go toward where you are currently living. We cast a vision to have a large amount of the proceeds be put toward scholarships, so that other women can have healing just like you. I can’t imagine the battle than occurs within you daily. Trying to get through the day without flashbacks or maybe even a certain scent reminding you of your trafficker. You are beautifully redeemed, and on the days where you feel alone or forgotten I hope you remember that you have people fighting for you. Alongside myself and 9 other women, we are going to pedal harder and faster than anything to redeem your story. I am pedaling because as the wise Maya Angelou once said, “each time a woman stands up for herself she stands up for all women.”

My name is Kalindi Cordero- I am a born and raised Texan, Bulldog lover, Mac and Cheese fanatic, lover of dancing in all spaces (psa: tore my meniscus and currently rehabbing my knee so I can bike this summer), personal motivator, and want to help restore the lives of young women and children who have been trafficked.

I will cycle with my legs. I will use my voice to spark change. I will keep pushing forward one day at a time, for all women. They are so worth it. We all are. Let us ride together with love as we continue to fight for justice.

P.S. My bike ride this summer is in honor of my father who passed away from Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma this last August. Dad always reminded me to do something with purpose, passion, and love. I ride for myself, the girls, and for him.

June 3, 2024
Hanna Teerman

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