Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Giving the Running of the Bulls a Deeper Purpose

It is billed as the second biggest party in the world, just after Carnival in Rio.  Estimates say that 1.5 to 2 million people descend on this slice of northern Spain for 8 days of relaxation and revelry.  The event was actually founded in 1591 to honor the beheaded bishop, San Fermîn.  This is why everyone is asked to wear the red bandana, remembering his unfortunate end.  The festival itself is heavy with religious significance, and includes processions, special religious services, and a deep cultural reverence for the patron saint of Pamplona.  With that said, the Running of the Bulls has a well-earned reputation for non-stop revelry followed by mortal danger each morning as the bulls are run through the streets of ancient Pamplona.  

I first ran with the bulls in 2004, not having any clue that there was a religious festival going on, nor did I know that the bulls run on eight consecutive days, not just the most famous day of July 7th.  Having returned to Pamplona to produce a documentary, study Spanish, and start a business, I now see the big picture and am amazed at what the Running of the Bulls has become.  Of course, anytime you gather 2 million in a town of about 700,000, lots of interesting things tend to happen.  That's why we strive to get above the crowd and rent a balcony to watch the running of the bulls from a safe distance. 

It was such a fantastic experience that I decided to start a business offering bull runners and spectators housing, balconies, afternoon tapas and wine, and other amenities to help them enjoy the fiesta in style.  After a while, though, we felt that the party needed a purpose..  Relaxation is just fine, but we wanted to create a mechanism to do good while we had fun.  That's why we created Run With a Purpose (tm).  This program links vendors of balconies, apartments, and hotels in Pamplona with economic development projects in Latin America.  

We have decided to award all proceeds from the Pamplona balcony rental business to projects of PersonalPhilanthropy.org.   PersonalPhilanthropy.org is a non-profit corporation and oversees all aspects of the programs, so you can rest assured that the money is well-used.  If you'd like to do good while having fun, consider taking the trip of a lifetime and join us at the Running of the Bulls 2010 in Pamplona this July 6th through 14th.  

1 comment:

  1. It was such a fantastic experience. Of course, anytime you gather 2 million in a town of about 700,000, lots of interesting things tend to happen.