There is an Island of Hope in Nicaragua, and it is called Ometepe. For nearly 10 years One Earth Conservation has been working with the local conservationists, and they have built an amazing parrot conservation project with one of the densest populations of parrots in the Americas. Unfortunately, such abundance is rare because parrots are highly endangered in the world, and also threatened even in this paradise, mostly due to the pet trade and illegal trafficking. By joining us on this walking tour on the road going around Maderas Volcano, you contribute to your own well-being, support parrot conservation here, grow awareness in the world about the beautiful people and parrots of this region and their often dire status, and help support conservationists whose families have been severely impacted by economic pressures caused by the pandemic and civil disturbances. Dr. Joyner was there on the island in March 2022 and tourism is returning to full capacity!
We will walk around the island for a total of 20 miles. The walking is along a dirt road, with gentle hills and in some places a bit rocky and muddy. Along the way we will stop at 6 conservation communities to count parrots, with camping available at least two locations (though you can opt to stay at hotels). We begin with a mini-conference and cultural celebration, and join parrot conservationists climbing active nests in Playa Santa Domingo. Then, we begin our walk – first to Balgue, then La Palma, San Ramon, and Merida. Local people will be waiting to provide lodging/camping, meals, and sharing of their lives and culture. At each stop we will be counting a lot of parrots with breathtaking views of Lake Cocibolca (Nicaragua). We will finish with a parrot festival in Merida. People can join us for all 3 days or can enjoy many other activities that will be available, such as hiking, kayaking, bird watching, and climbing to the tops of the volcanoes.
Rev. Dr. Joyner will also facilitate reflection and discussion times, as we learn about parrot conservation and the lives of the people in the Americas, with an emphasis on spiritual health, connecting to nature, and joyful action and advocacy in the world. We imagine this as a time for healing, as we move through shared mourning, and a lot of celebration! Fauna and Flora International and BIOMETEPE are hosting the event, with support from One Earth Conservation.
Every individual will pay for their own travel to the island, hotel, and meals, and then we will compensate the conservationists and community members for any meals, activities, and camping. We estimate approximately $200- $250 per person for all three days. This cost includes camping for 2 nights, meals for 4 days, the opening mini-conference/opening event, various cultural events, and parrot conservation activities. You can elect to stay in hotels the entire time and we can arrange to transport you to activities (for an extra fee to cover the bus rental). The bus will also carry your luggage between stops while you are walking (we recommend traveling light if you can). You can come for the whole time, or only for a day or two.
We hope you will join us, for yourself, for life!