For Nature and outdoors lovers as I am, I was dreaming about a new opportunity to experience in a different way the Nicaragua’s rich wildlife and ecosystems. The country of volcanoes and lakes as we call it has a lot to share.
Here is a piece of my idea to develop a new responsible tourism product. This would combine cultural and sport travel product that could both support local small-scale economy and feed adventure tourists’ expectations.
The sport challenge would be to cross the volcanoes range from East to West (or the opposite) from the Cosiguina volcano to the Nicaragua Lake. Participants would have to use different means: running, orienteering, canoeing, rappelling, mountain biking (no motor-powered vehicle). accommodations of participants will be provided by nicas families, where they’ll experience typical food, local people way of living. Quiz will be part of the race, talking about the history, culture and nature of Nicaragua. Food supplies along the race itinerary would be locally-produced, typical and organic (as much as it could) and energetic! This will foster eco-friendly related agricultural techniques. Volunteering will be the major support for the organization, in order to involve local people directly (especially for security and itinerary logistics), but part of the incomes from participation fee will be distributed to local people who will have concrete expenses (accommodations, mountain bike rentals, food cooking, etc).
The itinerary will bring the participants to unique landscapes and sites (waterfalls, rivers, top of volcanoes, archeological sites, etc. Of course, number of participants will be limited, in order to limit the damages on ecosystems. An impact study should be carried out before developing the concepts to anticipate potential negative impacts on communities and ecosystems, to minimize them by adopting a different itinerary of the race.
This race could be a yearly sportive challenge. Participation of locals should be supported for example with reduced participation fares. Local authorities should play a major role, as well as non-governmental organizations. Skilled people in logistics and sport event organization will be more than needed.
And if that works, with patience and passion, through a commonly-agreed organization involving all stakeholders, this would be a great and new tourism opportunity, responsible and eco-friendly, unique in Central America (as far as I know, the Fuego y Agua LLC. organizes a yearly outdoors event around the Ometepe Island only). And this would participate in develop a new way for tourism projects other than mass tourism.
Would you be interested in participating in this experience? So would I!