We traveled to Ecuador for our Join the Flight campaign to see if our donations will be useful to the outdoor sports community here. Ecuador is beautiful, the people are very nice, and the outdoor community seems very similar to that in the U.S. There are some very active people here who enjoy climbing, camping, biking, running, kayaking, and surfing. There are also ultramarathons and adventure races that draw athletes from all over the world, making it a huge attraction for adventure tourism in this amazing country.
We were lucky to make some strong connections down here before our arrival, and they have pulled through for Corbeaux in a big way. Our friend Jaime Avilar was able to set up a meeting with the new President of ASEGUIM, Juliana García. ASEGUIM (Asociacion Ecuatoriana de Guías de Montaña) is the equivalent of our AMGA (American Mountain Guides Association), which trains aspiring mountain guides to climb in Ecuador and abroad. ASEGUIM currently has 64 certified guides and 16 aspiring guides who are in training to acquire full guide status. The association was founded in 1990 in order to group guides into a legal association and to provide high-quality training for these professionals in a country where adventure tourism is booming.
Talking to Juliana and other local climbers and athletes, it feels familiar, as if we were back home in Aspen. They are passionate about their sports and they do it for the love of the outdoors. It’s fulfilling to see that the love of the mountains and the outdoors crosses international boundaries despite any existing cultural or language barriers. It’s truly something we can all share. We feel this commonality will create a lasting relationship between ASEGUIM and Corbeaux for years to come, and it certainly is a community where our donations will go a long way and will be appreciated by the recipients. Overall, the shoe fits for Corbeaux’s first donation of gently-used gear, and we were able to deliver 95 pieces of clothing. Success!
Now that our first Join the Flight objective is complete, we are off to attempt to climb and ski some Ecuadorian volcanoes. So stay tuned for some updates on the high peaks and rural areas we are visiting over the next week.
Thanks for reading, and please Join the Flight by donating any new or gently-used gear and apparel to help our fellow lovers of the outdoors in some far-off places! You can email us with any questions about the process.