As most of you know, a magnitude 8.8 earthquake struck off the coast of Chile on February 27th. Just yesterday, Chile had an "aftershock" that was bigger than the
Haiti earthquake. Chile's March 11 quake shook Chile at 7.2 magnitude
on the Richter scale. The Evolve Chile crew extend our deepest sympathies to all Chileans, and to anyone affected by this natural disaster.
Over the last few weeks we’ve received hundreds of emails from Evolve Chile campers and families asking about the situation in Chile. We are relieved to report that all our friends, families and colleagues in the country are safe. Thanks to the fact that many of Chile’s buildings and infrastructure were built to withstand earthquakes, the preparation of its emergency response teams, and the strength of its people, a much larger crisis has been avoided.
At this time we are still operating Evolve Chile this July and August. We anticipate that in the next five months conditions in most of the country will have returned to normal. However, over the next few weeks, we will speak to Canadian and American officials in Chile, monitor the news and, if necessary, make whatever itinerary changes are needed in order to run a safe Camp in 2010. Safety remains our number one priority.
Thousands of Chilean people rely on the ski and snowboard industries for their livelihood, and many families benefit greatly from the money Evolve spends in Chile every year. Additionally, we are proud to announce that this year Evolve will donate 5% of all the Camp fees for 2010 to local schools and charities.
For some time we have been planning a new community service program as part of our activities in Chile this summer. This program (Give Back) is intended to aid local schools in the ski towns we visit. Of course, now more than ever, our help in these communities will be especially important and appreciated. Before Camp starts, you are encouraged to collect clothing to bring with you for donation while in Chile this summer. During Camp, campers and staff can participate in the community service programs that are being planned by Evolve Chile.
From Chile ’s national anthem: “Majestic is the white mountain”. We are hopeful it will be forever.
We have partnered with two local schools who
are in need of help as well as neighboring communities in Concepcion. One of the schools who we will be working closely with is located in Farellones.
This is one of the Schools we will be working with. Last summer some of the campers had an opportunity to meet most the kids.
The building on the right is the schools new gymnasium. This project was 3 year project we worked on over the past few years. This year part of the project will be painting it and making it look more "green" so that it suits the environment a little more.
Our “Give Back” community
service program is new for 2010. The program was introduced to give campers an
opportunity to contribute in a positive way to the small town communities we
travel in. The town of Las Trancas and Farellones are poor towns surviving on
tourism and farming. Education as many of us know allows us to get jobs. With
that in mind we felt the best way to contribute to these communities, was to
improve the education facility in the area. One clear shortcoming was the
condition and number of schools. We partnered with Escuela Eco-Educativa to
work on various projects over the next five years. Projects will range from
painting to prepping to light construction and fixing existing buildings.
Campers will also have an opportunity to do some language exchange with the
students where they can learn some basic Spanish and also teach the
Kids in the community are super stoked to work with us. Last summer some of our campers had a chance to hang with students, the smiles we brought to these kids were just as satisfying as slaying pow in the Termas back country.
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This is not a mandatory camp component. Volunteering
should not be forced. This work is literally a labor of love. It has to come
from the heart. We hope all campers participate in the project. Those who
participate in the project can accumulate up to 40 hours of community service.
These hours are applicable for graduation requirements at some schools and it
is great for resumes and college application.
Termas kids stoked on our stickers. Since last summer we have been collecting all old ski and snowboard equipment for this community. If you are interested in donating old equipment including clothing please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Evolve Chile campers can also participate in many of our
other community service initiatives around the world through our Adventure
Travel Division http://www.evolvetours.com
We have amazing service programs in Argentina, Kenya, Costa Rica and Ecuador. Daniel Rinzler, Owner and Director of the camp just returned from one of our new service projects in Kenya. Some campers from last summer were lucky enough to be with him in the project. Stay tuned for news about the Kenya trip.