We will complete the Central and Lower Grand Canyon sections of the Rio Marañon over 18 days. We have invited a small group of participants from the dam affected communities of Tupén Grande and Mendán. Taking a slow pace, we will have a big focus on teaching whitewater safety and basic skills for on the river. We will stop to develop stronger relationships between riverside communities along the way.
- Introduce participants to rafting and kayaking. Provide a pathway to work in this area if they are interested.
- Develop relationships between the different riverside communities.
- Develop relationships between locals, the river community of Peru, South America and the rest of the world.
- Scout shooting locations for the Remando Juntos film.
What is the Purpose of these training expeditions? How does it help the river? How does it help the people?
At best, we help to develop an alternate income stream for villagers, this will show the river is valuable in it’s free flowing state, provide resistance against the dams and increase education about these issues. If the dams are stopped, the local people will be a part of the growing rafting industry on the river. At worst, when they are displaced by the dams the group that we have helped train will have a useful skill-set and be able to find work elsewhere on the rivers of Peru. If you are a resident of one of these villages, it is likely you live a self-sustaining way of life. Grow your own food and sell a small amount to pay for the things that are really needed. When someone takes away your land, what do you have?
There is growing ecotourism in this area; while the river exists in a free-flowing state, more and more people want to see ‘The Grand Canyon of South America’ before it is destroyed. It would be great if we can make this growth directly create new jobs and opportunities for the local people living by the river. If they are deriving a good income in a sustainable manner, that is one more reason to keep this river free flowing.
On this expedition we take a group of young local people down the river, with the goal of teaching them the basics of rafting, kayaking and everything to do with river life. By engaging local people to become guides, we all of a sudden have a way to engage the entire community in this development. Other opportunities will open up, from providing cooked meals, through to re-stocking fresh produce as rafting groups pass by. If the dams destroy the river & dislodge these communities, then at least our trainees will be able to keep their connection with the river, and possibly find work in this industry elsewhere in Peru.
Volunteer Safety Kayakers & Raft Guides:
This project would not be possible without our committed team of volunteer raft guides and safety kayakers. No only are they donating their time to make this journey possible, they are individually completing fundraising campaigns which will cover costs of our Peruvian participants on the journey. It is inspiring to see that this project is made possible by everyday paddlers stepping up and doing what they can to protect one of the most important rivers in the world.
Additionally, we have a small number of local Peruvian and/or South American paddlers joining us for this trip. They will play a key role in translating, instructing and providing local knowledge.