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Climbing the Mt Mogoton: an event against AIDS | Jun 7, 2010

Group photo, courtesy of Swenja Schlegel.
Cinthia Membreño

On May 18, World AIDS Vaccine Day, a group of 22 people from 11 countries of the world climbed the Mt Mogoton, the highest peak of Nicaragua, located in the department of Nueva Segovia. The adventure of climbing the 2, 107 meters of the mountain, which is part of a world project to increase awareness about AIDS, gave the participants the opportunity to enjoy the nature of the area and included an unexpected moment right before staring the feat.

Swenja Schlegel, member of the group of adventurers, explained on an article that she wrote for the national media that the creator of the project World Aids Awareness Expedition (WAAE) is the German Joachim Franz. His idea is to climb the highest peaks of each country and put a flag with the number of infected people. "He wants to create awareness on the total amount of people that are infected, not just the ones that have been reported," she stated.

To support this idea, the group of Nicaraguans and foreigners decided to collect money for their trip. "It was a combination between a visit to the Somoto Canyon - an amazing natural experience, swimming in the fresh water between such high natural formed walls of the canyon - and climbing the Mt Mogoton," she said.

According to the German, climbing the mountain was a little bit difficult because, once they arrived to the site, they found out that it was impossible to reach the top. "There are too many mines and a river, too. That river could be very dangerous after rainfalls," explained Schlegel. Knowing this, the group decided to take another trail and climb as high as possible. The new route - said Schlegel- was very steep and seemed never to end.

Despite initial difficulties, the adventurers accomplished their goal and managed to take a picture of the group with the Nicaraguan flag and a sign with the number of infected people (15, 000). In addition, they could observe the beauty of the landscape and the nature. "Wonderful, fresh and diverse tropical forest!" she claimed.

On the website of the project it is also possible to see more pictures of the expedition in Nicaragua, as well as variety of stories by other adventurers in Canada, Angola, Uruguay, El Salvador, Palestine, Syria, South Africa, and other countries around the world.