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Interview: Rappel Team Nicaragua | May 14, 2008

Descend in San Juan del Sur by the Rappel Team and other friends.
“In Nicaragua, there are so many places where you can do abseiling, that I am sure you can make nice routes”, commented Enrique Schmidt, member of the Rappel Team. The Rappel Team is a group of young enthusiasts for this adventurous sport who have been practicing for years, but now want to promote it throughout the country and benefit from it commercially by offering their professional services to guide tours and use their knowledge to find great places to do the sport.

Rappel is a way to vertically descend, by making use of a robe; the technique is used for different activities, amongst which adventurous tourism where the aim is to descend ravines and rock faces. In other parts of the world, the sport is popular because of the emotional intensity of descending natural or artificial walls, and for the simple equipment and relatively easy technique.

In Nicaragua however, rappeling is only done by several people, according to Enrique and his group, who have been training for over 10 years. Despite this, the interviewee insists, the country has excellent places for interesting descends. Some of these places are very evident, such as the bay of San Juan del Sur and the Cañón de Somoto, but others are barely known, such as some of the waterfalls and mountainous regions in the north.

The current aim of the Rappel Team is to promote destinations and tours, but also the activity by itself, learned techniques and the use of equipment, especially amongst the Nicaraguans. “The idea is that nicas do it (rappel), and also that they get to know the rural areas of the country; instead of only the foreigners”, said Enrique, later on stressing that rappelling can become the sport to Nicaragua, that skiing is to countries with mountains and snow.

It was at the beginning of this year (2008) that the members of the Rappel Team, who considered this sport as a moment between friends, decided to offer their services commercially to the general public. Currently they offer their service every Saturday in the private reserve Montibelli and in Managua, but they will soon offer tours to locations known for their superb rappel opportunities, such as the Salto de la Estanzuela in Estelí, the Cañon de Somoto, and eight locations in the surroundings of Managua.

The Rappel Team is made up of Carlos Gutiérrez, Rodrigo Portocarrero and Enrique Schmidt. They are not the only ones offering the activity to the public in the country, but they are working to promote the sport and take it to different places. Also, according to Enrique, they are working on a map with the best places to rappel, in different parts of the country, identified by GPS.

“It is not a dangerous activity; the team is experienced, and special robes are used… the technique is also very safe”, said the interviewee at the end. To find out more about the team and what they are doing, you can visit the following website: congratulates the enthusiasm of the Rappel Team Nicaragua.