Wednesday, April 8, 2009

el camino del inca

Several UAC-CP volunteers, students, administrators, and myself are taking advantage of the the College's multi-day Easter break to hike the Choro Trail--an ancient Inca path that connects La Paz to the Yungas.  We leave Carmen Pampa tomorrow at 5:30 am!

Starting at 15,000 feet and making, at times, steep descents, the trail promises to challenge our lungs, knees, and feet. Though as the rain and heavy clouds descend upon Carmen Pampa this morning, I realize that the weather might be our greatest challenge as we hike the trail with the UAC-CP's sub-standard camping equipment.

UAC-CP volunteer Andy Engel makes a valiant attempt to fix old tent poles by threading them with an elastic band. For both educational and recreation purposes, the College needs camping equipment.

But from all that I've heard and read, these difficulties, in the end, prove worthwhile as the three-day adventure provides "breathtaking views." Mountain peaks, clear glacial streams, monkeys, snakes, butterflies, eagles, waterfalls, cloud forests, rustic bridges, etc., await us.  It will be an amazing opportunity to experience Bolivia's vast diversity!

It is also another fundraising opportunity for Carmen Pampa Fund--one that we would like to make an annual event for UAC-CP volunteers.  Volunteer Andy Engel, for example, has made an online fundraising page where people are welcome to make donations to support CPF's Scholarship Partners Program.

Also, it's a way for us to remind people that CPF is accepting in-kind donations to be shipped down in our container.  In particular, we could use camping equipment--tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, camp stoves, etc.  (For a complete list of items on the UAC-CP wish list, click here). All items are stored at a warehouse in Minneapolis until shipped to Carmen Pampa. For more information about the container, please contact Nadine Leahy at 

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