24 January 2008

Hiking for Kids

We recently returned from a wonderful honeymoon in Nicaragua. Not your average first-pick honeymoon destination, which is probably why we had such a good time! Our first stop was Leon, a beautiful colonial city near the Pacific coast and some of Nicaragua's volcanoes. One of the things we wanted to do was climb a volcano. We went up Telica with Quetzaltrekkers and spent the night in an old crater just below a mildly active volcano. The hike was hot and beautiful and the volcano was roaring and stinky. Our money, though, went in part to help street kids.

Quetzaltrekkers started in Guatemala and is now also operating in Nicaragua. They raise money for local non-profit organizations by leading hikes for tourists. The hikes are led by volunteers who spend a minimum of two months volunteering. The income generated from the hikes is split between funding Quetzal and funding an established local non-profit, Las Tias, that helps street kids. Inside the Quetzal office/volunteer house, they clearly post information about how income is split. For example, a t-shirt that cost $10 meant $4 for Las Tias. This kind of openness and creativity transforms social causes from charities into something I can't quite put into words.

How would you describe the relationship between Quetzaltrekkers and Las Tias?


  1. patronage? you are right, that kind of transparency is very welcome yet so hard to come by. glossy charity brochures from the same however are not!

  2. Sunburn
    Patronage has nice renaissance art ring to it, too - and the connotation of everybody winning. I like it!


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