We are very much looking forward to having you here soon. Preparations are going well and we are working furiously to have everything ready for your arrival. I'm sure you will all have a million questions, but you should find the answers in your welcome pack / emails - if there is anything else you need please do not hesitate to get in touch with David Winterflood at Head Office. Another excellent way to prepare yourself is by having a good look through this blog / watching some of our end of phase slideshows. Undoubtedly, the biggest question you will have will be about the projects you will be doing... so here they are, the projects for Expedition 13A…. See you soon!
First of all, the community projects:
Achuapa, Nicaragua - Water Project
Close to the town of Achuapa, in one of the poorest most remote areas of Nicaragua, Raleigh will be working on a gravity-feed water project to bring clean and safe drinking water to 20 families. At present the local people get their water from the river which often dries up in summer or comes from polluted water sources. This project is a multi-stakeholder partnership with the local community, the Cooperativa Juan Francisco Paz Silva and Raleigh. The group will be working with the local population to dam small streams, build tanks to collect the water from where it can run through pipes to all the local houses. The benefits of clean water will be felt by many generations to come. The participants will be living directly with families in the village and will help out with their day-to-day tasks.
Conte Burika Indigenous Territory – Health Post Build
Deep in Costa Rica’s tropical south, the Punta Burika peninsula runs along the Panamanian border and is home to the Ngobe – an independent, indigenous people who live by subsistence farming in this beautiful but remote area. While their day-to-day life is seemingly simple and peaceful, the Guaymi face many complicated issues ranging from losing land to more assertive farmers across the border, to having little or no access to health and education. At the request of the community of la Carona, Raleigh will build a health post in order to provide health care for a wide area and dispersed population. Tricky access means that materials will mostly came from the surrounding forest – a highly skilled indigenous sierrista (chainsaw operator) will carefully selected trees from the reserve for the team to dry, saw, plane and sand before they construct a stilted wooden building.
And the treks...
The Coast to Coast Trek - Costa Rica
This trek starts at the Caribbean Sea and ends on the Pacific Coast. It starts out close to the port of Limon, heading along railway tracks and through small communities to Barbilla National Park. From here the groups walk through Chirripó Indigenous Territory to Bajo Pacuare. They then head to the beautiful Pejibaye river and over to Tapanti National Park. The groups ascend to nearly 3000m through the park before descending down to the Pacific Ocean via the Cerro Dragon peak. The trek ends at the beautiful Playa Palo Seco, where the groups make a final dash into sea having walked an amazing 270km, with each trekker having crossed not only a country but a continent also.
Miratombo Volcanoes Trek - Nicaragua
In the far north of Nicaragua, close to the border with Honduras, this Raleigh group will walk along a mountain ridge through the pine forests above Esteli. From here you will head along a ridge that passes by the Estanzuela waterfall and protected areas going through remote communities. The trek heads towards the Momotombo Volcano from which the trek takes its name before climbing up Volcan El Hoyo with fabulous views over Lake Managua. The trek finishes at the crater lake of Asososca – a beautiful crystal clear lake that was once a volcanic crater.
...not forgetting the environmental projects.
Carara National Park – National Park Infrastructure
Carara is one of the oldest national parks in the country and an extremely important one. It holds large areas of primary tropical rainforest with high densities of mammal and bird life – as such it is one of the most visited national parks in Costa Rica. The Lago Meandrica trail is one of the most visited trails in the park as there are great possibilities for seeing mammals and abundant birdlife, however currently the trail is closed as there is no proper control at the entrance and the first half of the trail often gets flooded in the rainy season. So the national park approached Raleigh with the task of building a new trail out to the lake which starts at the visitor centre and avoids flooded areas. This important project will re-open up the park to thousands of visitors each year upon which the local economy depends. You will be continuing the good work of expedition 12 who were based in the park from September to December