Ometepe Island, Nicaragua
There is an Island of Hope in Nicaragua, and it is called Ometepe. For 6 years One Earth Conservation has been working with the local conservationists, and they have built an amazing parrot conservation project with one of the densest populations of parrots in the Americas. Unfortunately, such abundance is rare because parrots are highly endangered in the world, and also threatened even in this paradise, mostly due to the pet trade and illegal trafficking. By joining us on this walking tour on the road going around Maderas Volcano, you contribute to your own well-being, support parrot conservation here, grow awareness in the world about the beautiful people and parrots of this region and their often dire status, and help support conservationists whose families have been severely impacted by the Nicaraguan economic downturn (see graph of a hotel in Merida on Maderas Volcano).
We are still working out the details, as this is the first time we have led a walking tour and pilgrimage. The dates are fixed – December 6 – 10th. We will walk around the island for a total of 20 miles (see route below). The walking is along a dirt road, with gentle hills and in some places a bit rocky and muddy. Along the way we will stop at 5 conservation communities to count parrots, with camping available at three locations (though you can opt to stay at hotels). We begin with a mini-conference and cultural celebration, and join parrot conservationists climbing active nests and counting over 300 parrots in an evening at Playa Santa Domingo. The next morning, we begin our walk – first to Balgue, then La Palma, Tichana, and Merida. Local people will be waiting to provide lodging/camping, meals, and sharing of their lives and culture. At each stop we will be counting a lot of parrots with breathtaking views of Lake Cociboca (Nicaragua). We will finish with a parrot festival for children.
Rev. Dr. Joyner will also facilitate reflection and discussion times, as we learn about parrot conservation and the lives of the people in the Americas, with an emphasis on spiritual health, connecting to nature, and joyful action and advocacy in the world. We imagine this as a time for healing, as we move through shared mourning, and a lot of celebration! Fauna and Flora International and BIOMETEPE are hosting the event, with support from One Earth Conservation.
Costs will depend on how many people attend. If we have 15 people (18 years or older) the cost will be approximately $200- $250 per person (not counting travel to and from Playa Santa Domingo, which each individual pays on their own). This cost includes camping for 3 nights, meals for 4 days, the opening mini-conference/opening event, various cultural events, and parrot conservation activities. You can elect to stay in hotels the entire time and we can arrange to transport you to activities (for an extra fee to cover the van rental). The van will also carry you luggage between stops while you are walking (we recommend traveling light if you can). You can come for the whole time, or only for a day or two.
Please contact us now if you have interest so we can give you updates and reserve a spot for you.
We hope you will join us, for yourself, for life.