CONGRATULATIONS to all the Challengers on our first six Charity Challenges of 2011, biking from Guatemala to Honduras, the inaugural Nicaragua Volcano Challenge, Brazil's Chapada Diamantina Challenge , Guatemala's first Caribbean Kayak Challenge, Perú´s Cerani Pass and Ecuador's Volcano Challenge. Nicaragua's second volcano Challenge is set for 3rd-6th November and the third Guatemala Volcano Challenge dates are set for 27th November -2nd December.

Click on the following for our most recent official project reports for Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Perú and Brazil.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Volcano Challenge week - same again in November 2011

In November 2010, in the immortal words of 2009 Challenger, Davin, 14 challengers and 3 guides from Old Town Outfitters "conquered" the 6 day, 5 Volcano Challenges this year in Guatemala, raising funds and awareness for our projects in Guatemala and Honduras.

First up, as always, was Pacaya, which recently had a massive eruption, engulfing much of the area in ash, including Guatemala City and the main international airport. We couldn't summit all the way due to sulpher and other gasses, though got near enough!

Due to such activity, massive underground lava caves had formed on the lava flows, which were more like large ovens, though very safe to enter! One down, four to go.

From Pacaya, we headed up to Xela and immediately donned the packs and headed two hours to the base of Santa María.

Here we pitched camp and waking at 4am to summit what all described as the now-known, "volcano which shall not be named"!

Aswell as the quite incredible views from the summit, Santiaguito volcano, a kilometre below, decided to blow as we arrived, so we got to see first hand a volcano erupting from above!

From here, we headed up to near the Mexican border to the base camp of the highest point in Central America, Tajumulco, at over 4200m high. From the peak, you can see all the way into Mexico and down towards El Salvador.

The beer (and wine!) donkey duly arrived at the second camp, and how much it was needed as temperatures dropped to zero and we awoke with frozen tents and frost everywhere.

Tajumulco is worth the slog to get there in anyone's book!

Early doors and the long drive to Lake Atitlán, where a night in Casa del Mundo preceded the day hike up San Pedro, with incomparable views of the lake from the top. It's tough, though worth it!

For some, the fifth and final volcano, Acatenango awaited, lurking over Antigua as it's neighbour, Fuego, did it's business. All respect for the remaining challengers on the fifth, an excellent effort.

Thanks so much to everyone who supported and sponsored us on both the Challenges, a truly great effort. Bring on 2011's separate Bike and Volcano Challenges! See you then, cheers!!.


How does GVI Phoenix make a difference?

The following film was made in Guatemala, though the message is the same across all GVI Phoenix projects