This is the English volunteer page. Si te idioma es Español aprieta aqui!
Dates of Paddling with Purpose Expeditions:
- May 23 – June 11 (Training Expedition #1)
- July 18 – August 8 (Trip Full, Paddling with Purpose journey)
- August 18 – September 6 (Training Expedition #2)
- September 14 – October 14 (Tentative Training Expedition #3, 30 days both Upper & Lower raftable sections, Class IV)
There will be a series of Training Expeditions in 2015
In addition to the original Paddling with Purpose adovcacy expedition, there will be a series of training expeditions. We will complete the Central and Lower Grand Canyon sections of the Rio Marañon over 18 days. We will take a slow pace with big focus on teaching whitewater safety and basic skills for on the river with the aim of including local communities in the development of ecotourism; and also creating stronger relationships between local communities and the rest of Peru.
What is the Purpose of these training expeditions? How does it help the river?
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. There will be a second follow up training trip in late July on which they will continue to hone their skills, and we will create further opportunities for those interested to continue to progress by networking with other rafting organisations in Peru.
The beauty of this is, that by engaging local people to become guides, we all of a sudden have a way to engage the entire community; from providing cooked meals as raft groups pass by, through to having pre-arranged fresh fruit and vegetable drops; someones mum, uncle, cousin, brother or sister will undoubtably step up to take advantage of the new contacts. In this way, as rafting continues to grow on the river, it will be far more beneficial to the local people. 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.
As the cause becomes more well-known, there may also be other opportunities arising from these expeditions which will make a difference in our campaign such as taking journalists / influential Peruvians down the river to report on the issues and spread awareness.
Who are we looking for to volunteer?
We are looking for safety kayakers, oarboaters for gear rafts and one or two paddle raft guides; as a minimum everyone must be competent on class IV . There are positions available for both professional, qualified guides and recreational boaters. We will make selections based on skillsets, qualifications, experience, available funding and how well we think each person will fit into the team. People with experience teaching kayaking/rafting, who can speak Spanish or who have other indispensable skills are definitely encouraged.
How are we going to teach if we don’t speak Spanish?
We will have positions specifically for Spanish speaking guides. These guys will help to do the explaining, while anyone without spanish can help teach technique, demonstrate and of course run safety.
What does it cost? That is up to you.
You will need to cover your transport costs to & from the start and end points of the journey (Once you touch down in Peru we will be able to help you get on the right buses). Apart from that, it could cost nothing (if you have an incredible skillset that we are looking for), or you may choose to complete some fundraising to help cover the trip costs, or if you do a really good job, to help fund other side projects and initiatives to save the river.
Don’t underestimate your ability to raise some funds that could massively help out this effort. Think back to the last time one of you friends asked you for some fundraising money. What was it for? Were they doing a charity fun run? A 40 hour famine? Maybe they weren’t even doing anything inspiring at all? How much did they end up raising? Now think about this; You are PERSONALLY jumping on a plane, heading to Peru to make a huge difference in the effort to save the SOURCE OF THE AMAZON! That’s incredible, your friends, family, collegues & classmates will be stunned, they will almost be throwing their money at you it’s so impressive! If you have 100 people give you $20 each, you have already found $2000, but some people might be willing to donate $50, $100 or even $200 for such a freaking cool thing that YOU will be doing. Then you have all the kayaking groups and sports clubs you are a part of, we have barely even scratched the surface!
(Note: We will support you to help you to raise the funds which will go towards covering expedition costs, however we do not support fundraising for your own personal costs (ie. flights)). We can give you some solid pointers and ideas to help get you started. To give you an idea of costs, if you were to go on this journey using an outfitting service to help organise it (un-guided), you would pay somewhere around $1500-$2000 per person.
What Kind of River is it?
The section starts at Chagual, and finishes near el Muyo, over 400km later. It has a big water drop pool feel, consisting of countless Class II & Class III, interspersed with a few class IV and maybe one class V depending on level (portageable); a very manageable section. We will take a very slow pace, in order to practice skills and give instruction along the way.
There will be an opportunity for experienced boaters to paddle the more challenging upper sections of the Marañon in a self supported, recreational style group.
Who will be on the trip?
The crew will be made up of the local Peruvians interested in learning Rafting / Kayaking, Peruvian guides and you- our team of international raft guides and safety boaters.