Explore Nicaragua on Foot and Support a Good Cause
Nicaragua offers a host of truly spectacular trekking trails, attracting trekking enthusiasts from around the world. Among the most popular of the country’s trekking trails are those that allow trekkers to explore the majestic volcanoes of Nicaragua, a number of which – San Cristóbal, Cerro Negro, Momotombo, Pilas, Telica and Cerro Negro – form part of the Cordillera de Maribios near the vibrant city of León. Visitors to León who are interested in trekking in the region may want to consider using the services of the non-profit volunteer organization Quetzaltrekkers León, thereby supporting a good cause while enjoying a memorable trekking experience.
Originally founded in Guatemala in 1995, the goal of Quetzaltrekkers is to raise money through tourism to offer the chance of a better life to children living and working on the streets. Encouraged by the success of the project in Xela, Guatemala, in 2004 some guides from Quetzaltrekkers settled in León, Nicaragua, with the intention of raising money through guided tours to nearby volcanoes. Seeing as there were already a number of groups helping children and young people in need, Quetzaltrekkers decided not to start their own social initiative, but rather to support organizations which are already established, starting with Asociación Las Tías – an initiative set up by local women to tackle the drug problem among the city’s disadvantaged youth. By August 2012, Quetzaltrekkers was in the position to extend their support to five projects based in León – Projecto Barriletes, Minibiblioteca Manuelita Sacasa, the QT Scholarship Fund and Asociación Las Tías. In addition to providing financial assistance, volunteers spend time helping children with their homework, playing games and building friendships.
Quetzaltrekkers offer a number of different trekking options. One-day hikes include volcano boarding on Cerro Negro; trekking up Volcán Momotombo (considered to be Nicaragua’s most famous volcano); and hiking and swimming in the Somoto Canyon. Two-day adventures include a full-moon hike up Teleca where trekkers will have the opportunity of viewing the clear starlit skies and to see the red-hot lava of the volcano; a visit to Volcán El Hoyo to experience volcano boarding and swimming in the crater lake; climbing to the summit of Volcán San Cristobal, Nicaragua’s tallest volcano. Three-day hikes include trekking to Volcán Cosigüina which offers a view of neighboring countries Honduras and El Salvador as well as the Gulf of Fonseca and the Pacific Ocean; or exploring the Northern Highlands of Nicaragua and the city of Matagalpa.
Certainly there is plenty to see in this part of Nicaragua, and supporting a good cause by having a great holiday is the very epitome of a win-win situation.