So yesterday was interesting to say the least. Originally we were all supposed to take a tour of some mangroves and later spend the night on the beach, but because of the recent earthquake just off the coast, there was a tsunami warning and we were forced to change our plans. At breakfast we were still trying to figure out what we were going to do when Oli and Aaron came in. They had worked really hard and actually arranged for us to climb up and ride down Cerro Negro, one of the many active volcanoes in Nicaragua.
We all were super excited and quickly ate breakfast and were on our way. After a really long bus ride to the volcano, we got out, grabbed our sand boards and started our hike. The hike was quite challenging. Everyone was really supportive of each other, and eventually we all made it to the top. The views were amazing, and the ride down was worth the hike up.
Being El Lider Del Dia yesterday was definitely a challenge. I had been preparing the night before for a beach day and ended up doing something completely opposite. I had to be flexible and willing to change at a moments notice.
The theme for the day was protecting the environment and the challenges of doing so. Cerro Negro is located on a nature reserve, so it was the perfect location. At the nightly meeting we discussed the pros and cons of eco-tourism and came to the conclusion that, while eco-tourism is effective at raising awareness and funds for the conservation of the environment, too much of it can in itself harm the environment. For example, if too many people go sand boarding down Cerro Negro, there could be an increase in litter around the volcano or erosion. It was really an eye-opening experience, and I’m sure we will all be more aware of how we try to protect the environment.