Of course, it had been worth it dozens of times already that morning: And it was now only 1pm.
I was on a trek with Condor Trekkers, a non-profit tourism and trekking project operating out of Sucre, Bolivia. Inspired by a similar project located in Guatemala and Nicaragua, the Condor “family” was founded by Australian Randall Howlett as a way to begin to combat poverty in South America’s poorest country.
Nothing if not ambitious, well-travelled Randall hopes to one day see a worldwide network of similar projects operating to make tourism more sustainable and to begin to “change the economic landscape of the world.”
To contribute to this change, Condor Trekkers provides a number of options for travellers to Sucre, ranging from city walking tours, to treks of one to four days visiting craters, waterfalls, enormous dinosaur footprints, thermal baths and beautiful canyons (depending on the season).
Local, experienced guides accompany travellers throughout and a Condor volunteer comes along for language help, a laugh and general extra support.
I was on a three day trek, where guide Henry (Potosí) and volunteer Lyle (Boston) were leading fellow travellers Marisha (Malaysia), Rick and Amy (England) and I through the footholds surrounding Sucre; visiting amazing scenery (including real dinosaur footprints!), villages and…as previously mentioned, stuffing ourselves with incredible feasts. All a stone’s throw from the city, but impossible to find without a good deal of background knowledge and at least intermediate Quechua.
Condor Trekkers is 100% not for profit, with funds going towards a number of local projects, including funding schools in the area of the Maragua crater.
The reasonably priced treks are inclusive of all (very comfortable and warm!) accommodation, local transport and scrummy food.
For the traveller who’s not so turned on by leaving a trail of destruction and empty beer cans in their wake, Condor Trekkers provides a way to visit incredible places while giving a little back to Bolivia.
For more information, including info on volunteering with the project, visit their website.
And: Hiking boots on!