Yes, Canada does have cowboys and cowgirls, but they don’t usually undertake 14,000-km horseback rides, as Filipe Masetti Leite did. Leite, 27, immigrated to Canada from Brazil when he was a teenager, and his family has now moved back to Sao Paolo.
In July 2012, he set off from the grounds of the Calgary Stampede, an annual rodeo held in western Canada which he calls one of the best in the world. Accompanying him were his horses Bruiser and Frenchie, and he picked up a third called Dude in New Mexico.
Leite has covered 10 countries in North, Central and South America and has arrived in Brazil , as he planned, in time for the World Cup of Soccer. Along the way he crossed Yellowstone National Park in the U.S., encountered a grizzly bear in Montana and rode through the Chihuahua Desert in Mexico.
He said the goal of his trip was to draw attention to the illegal drug war in Latin America. A lot of innocent people are dying, he says, and 80 per cent of the drugs end up on U.S. streets.
He still has 2,000 kilometers to go to get to his parents’ home in Sao Paolo. Leite says, “This has been the hardest but most gratifying years of my life.”