Latin American Adventures Announces Upcoming Tour Dates to Nicaragua

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Nicaragua's gone global: As goes her ecology, so goes her health. Latin American Adventures announces 3 new tour dates to Nicaragua for Sept. 15, Oct. 3 & Oct. 17, 2008.

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Latin American Adventures announces upcoming tour dates to Nicaragua for Sept. 15, Oct. 3, & Oct. 17, 2008.

Nicaragua has long been known as the land of lakes and volcanoes, not to mention natural disasters, political strife, and recently, extreme poverty. However, she is making some significant gains ecologically, both locally and globally.

Nicaragua's natural beauty makes eco-tourism a promising economic solution. Eco-tourism is beginning to take hold and the country is currently receiving huge aid and support from government agencies, non-profit organizations, and individuals, both within and outside the country. Nicaragua still has a long journey and her road is filled with bumps and unexpected curves, but its authenticity distinguishes it from many Central American countries. The people are gritty yet sincere, perhaps a reflection of her passionate struggle to realize her potential. Born from that, comes her feisty spirit, along with her natural wonders and cultural tapestry, that upon visiting, not only takes you off-the-beaten-path, but also makes you realize it was all worthwhile.

In many ways, Nicaragua is a sleeping giant just starting to awaken. Areas that previously have gone largely unexplored and unexploited are now gaining international recognition for their valuable ecological contribution. Unescos' Bosawas Biosphere Reserve which boasts the second largest rainforest in the Americas, second only to the Amazon in Brazil as well as Unescos' San Juan River Biosphere, which contains one of the largest tracts of protected tropical rainforest(s) in Nicaragua and harbors a variety of ecosystems with great biodiversity; a level that may be unmatched by any other area of the same size in Mesoamerica. Both reserves have drawn national and international scientists to conduct research and they have recorded, specifically in the Indio Maíz Reserve (San Juan River Biosphere) , a total of 143 families, 707 genera, and 1500 species of flora, findings that highlight the importance of conserving this particular area. Organizations like FUNDAR (Fundación Amigos del Río San Juan) with the help of the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), have developed a strategy to foster financial sustainability of the Rio San Juan Biosphere Reserve.

Nicaragua's ecosystems play a role in combating global warming through her potential to reforest areas previously clear-cut. At one time, she had forestland covering about 40 percent of her area, however she lost about 20 percent of her forests between 1990 and 2005, much of it as a result of cattle ranching and agriculture. Paso Pacífico along with Carbonfund.org, the Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance ( CCBA), and the Rainforest Alliance announced an innovative reforestation project called Return to Forest. This project is restoring about 1,000 acres (406 hectares) of moist and dry tropical forest in Central America's most critically endangered ecosystems. Through the planting of some 70 varieties of native tree species, Paso Pacífico and Carbonfund.org aim to restore a biological corridor in the region and will offset the emission of an estimated 170,000 tons of Co2 over the next 40 years.

Another campaign that has made immeasurable contributions to the reduction of Co2 is the Parks in Peril project. This campaign is a collaboration between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), The Nature Conservancy (TNC ), and local the government and non-government organizations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. The Parks in Peril campaign safeguards the most important and threatened natural areas in the hemisphere and since 1990 has protected 45 million acres in 17 countries. The program operates in threatened national parks and reserves of global biological significance and seeks to conserve these imperiled ecosystems by ensuring an institutional presence that provides sustainable, on-site management.

Our legacy to future generations depends on programs such as these as well as new far reaching projects and policies. Organizations like the Rainforest Alliance, has since 1993, empowered children, classrooms, and individuals in finding ways that they can directly support projects in tropical countries. Through a project called Adopt-A-Rainforest , individuals or groups can donate to a specific rainforest that they chose to adopt. This project differs from other land purchase programs in that if no appropriate land is available, donations are used to support ongoing management activities that are crucial to the area's conservation. Moreover, as part of the Adopt-A-Rainforest project, the Rainforest Alliance Learning site contains complete lesson plans, stories, presentations, and background descriptions of species and on-the-ground conservation projects for kindergarten through eighth grade. The curriculum presents information on forests, wildlife, and local communities, and provides a global perspective on the importance of protecting the world's natural resources, while giving students opportunities for direct action.

In summary, in today's world of global energy crisis, global warming, poverty and famine, many world leaders are slowly understanding that this industrialized rat race is leading us to a clash with nature on a epic scale. Al Gore's 'Inconvenient Truth' points us in the right direction, as do the local projects in Nicaragua. A lot of our disregard for nature seen in many societies as 'business as usual' just do not work anymore. We've exhausted many of our natural resources and it is becoming clear that environmental change will happen, either on our terms, meaning a symbiotic relationship with Earths' ecosystems or mother-natures terms, meaning a violent counter push of dwindling forests, species reduction and climate change, which in the end could put our species on the brink of extinction. At this point we may have some time to choose. Beyond this generation it may be too late. The road is long and arduous, but the solutions are 'do-able'. Let's get started.

Upcoming Trips to Nicaragua

Sept. 15, 2008 - Oct. 3, 2008 & Oct. 17, 2008

Telephone - 954-662-1539

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ELSTON CHAVARRIA
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