September 11, 2023
After an arduous 18-day trek covering 418.6 kilometers and ascending a staggering 14,000 meters, the Walking People Out of Poverty journey came to an unexpected close for John, Peter, and myself.
As we continued our northward journey, rumors of trail closures and thickening smoke from the BC wildfires, casted serious doubts on our ability to proceed as planned.The proposed detour would add an additional 100 kilometers to our already challenging hike and would prevent John and I from returning in time for our scheduled quarterly board meeting.
On August 20th, John and I made the difficult decision to leave the trail when we arrived in Leavenworth for our next zero day. Peter, true to his determined spirit, remained committed to forge ahead toward the Northern Terminus, our endpoint. However, two days after parting ways, he too made the decision to leave the trail due to the smoke.
Looking back on what proved to be one of the most physically and mentally challenging experiences of my life, I have zero regrets.
Every step we took, on rugged terrain and steep ascents, was for our clients in Nicaragua.
Byron is one of the many clients who is pressing forward, on his own journey out of poverty in Nicaragua.
In 2019, Byron found himself unemployed. Many Nicaraguans in his situation, facing unemployment and economic hardship, were pushed even further below the poverty line when the pandemic started. Skyrocketing food and energy prices in Nicaragua made it nearly impossible for people like Byron to meet their basic needs.
But with Byron’s honest, responsible, and hardworking spirit he was determined to turn his life around, and he embarked on a journey to start his own business. He joined an ASODENIC trust group, where he received his first loan that he used to start a grocery store. As his business grew, he pursued further loans to diversify. Today, in addition to groceries, he sells a wide range of products, including bookstore items, hardware, and clothing. His wife works alongside him in the business using her accounting background to manage the books.
I vividly recall his joy, as he shared his story with me. His life has been completely changed, and it all started with one loan.
This is the potential of opportunity – a journey that leads people, like Byron, out of poverty towards a future where hope is renewed, and possibilities are unlimited.
It was this potential that kept me going, even on the hardest days of our hike. Much like Byron’s resilience, we were driven by the belief that through Walking People Out of Poverty and your generous support, we will see more people like Byron work their way out of poverty, for good.
Thank you for partnering with us, in this incredible journey.
– Dan (aka Huckleberry)
This post is part of a CEO Blog series on Dan’s reflections throughout his 700+ KM hike, Walking People Out of Poverty. Through the hike, he aimed to raise support and awareness of our work of poverty alleviation in Nicaragua.
Input your search keywords and press Enter.