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New touristic trails and conservation actions in Ometepe.

Olga Ortiz Kurashvili | Apr 24, 2012

Children at "La Esperanza" school in the campaign "Ometepe te quiero verde" | Photographer: Olga Ortiz Kurashvili

Program of Population-nature Integration opened nature trails and presented progress in its activities.

On Friday April the 20th the opening of the tourist circuit roads "La Eternidad” (The Eternity) took place, consisting of three trails in the Maderas Volcano and forms part of the campaign "I want you green Ometepe," implemented in the past three years of the project “Estableciendo Puentes entre la Biodiversidad y la Gente” (Establishing bridges between Biodiversity and People) in the Biosphere Reserve of Ometepe Island.

The campaign "I want you green Ometepe" is developed in order to maintain a connection between biodiversity and people, to strengthen the respect and care of the environment around them, through various activities undertaken by the organization “Flora y Fauna Internacional” (Fauna and Flora International) supported by the “Entre Volcanes” Foundation (Between Volcanoes Foundation) and institutional actors such as the town hall of Altagracia, the “Instituto Nicaragüense de Turismo -INTUR- (Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism) and the “Ministerio del Ambiente y los Recursos Naturales” –MARENA- Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.

"Sembrar para vivir” (Sow to live) headed one of three proposed activities to improve he environmental and social level on the island. According to Salvadora Morales, project coordinator of “Flora y Fauna Internacional” (Fauna and Flora International), "A work has begun with 20 families, who have been given the tools needed to diversify their crops and get more income, all with the support of BATCA (British American Tobacco Central America).” On the other hand, she said, "Another insight has been passed, or tried to raise as to the planting of trees, since in the long terms it may be beneficial for the families."

Another activity that is being implemented on the site is scientific research and monitoring of migratory birds. Likewise, they are working with five schools in the town of Altagracia to teach children the different types of birds in the area and raise awareness of biodiversity. According to Morales, "it´s shared with children in Nicaragua (from Ometepe Island) and Canada, where they give talks about the history, culture and nature that exists in Ometepe."

In the municipality of Altagracia two paths have been constructed so that nationals and foreign tourists can enjoy nature more safely and with more information, in places easy to find and guidance signs. The track "Peña Inculta” (Rock Inculta) near Santo Domingo Beach, which bears his name for being an uncultivable land, has had essential maintenance to make it a safe and passable attractive.

Finally, thanks to support from BATCA and the Forest Service of the United States, it was able to complete the first phase of the path "La Eternidad” (The Eternity), which is named in honor of the biologist Teresa Zúñiga (RIP), who undertook this initiative to make big changes in the conservation of Ometepe.

Translated by Aída Pichardo