Would you ever decide to hike all the way down the American continent after retiring? Jose Cortez is doing just that.

He’s 68 and hasn’t slowed down—in fact, Cortez was one of Cesar Chavez’s bodyguards in the 1960s and 70s.

Reporter Maggie Freleng spoke with him about his life as a Chavista and his spiritual journey from Alaska to Panama. Maggie reported this story for her NPR NextGen Radio fellowship at KJZZ in Arizona.

Featured image by Maggie Freleng