Climb the Bolivian Andes; Change a Veteran’s Life Here at Home

climb-the-bolivian-andesThe 10-day trek into the Bolivian Andes promises to be an epic and once-in-a-lifetime adventure, albeit one with a mission that will at once humble and forever change the adrenaline-seeking soul. Touching the cloud forests atop Aguja Negra and Cabeza del Cóndor, soaring nearly 18,000 feet into the heavens, adventurers who make this journey will find thrill beyond measure, but are doing so much more; they’re helping to change the lives of local veterans. A portion of the fee for the odyssey goes directly to support GreenZone Heroes Veterans’ Initiatives.

GreenZone Heroes (GZH) is a Sarasota-based obstacle course race and adventure company with a public mission to fill gaps in local veterans’ services. GreenZone Hereos seeks to strengthen community relationships through community building events that promote local assets with a focus on health and well-being. The GreenZone Heroes Games, held each season, feature obstacle course racing, local food, local music and entertainment, family FunZone and the Veteran Connection. Other yearly activities include adventure walks and hikes, survival courses, land navigation and adventure trips, like this Bolivia Trek.

“Embedded in GreenZone Heroes corporate DNA is a commitment to using our corporate profits to fund gaps in regional veteran services,” says CEO John Krotec. Every person that participates, volunteers, or sponsors a GZH event “plays an active role in helping,” John says. And that certainly includes the adventurers who’ll trek to Bolivia in January.

The trip itinerary itself is a read almost as exciting as the sojourn will surely be: Fly into El Alto, Bolivia and stay at the Rosario hotel near the ‘Witches Market;’ tour the city of La Paz and the Valley of the Moon; travel to the Copacabana on Lago Titicaca with an afternoon trek into Orca del Inka and Calvario; next travel by boat to Sun Island and then off to make base camp at Condoriri (Cabeza del Cóndor); on the sixth day, climb to Aguja Negra, elevation nearly 5,000 meters. Nights spent under pitch-dark skies punctuated with millions of stars and days spent trekking through diverse biosphere where, as John Krotec says, one can witness “the vast scale of the Earth amid a forest of zephyr clouds, communing with the majesty of the creation.” On the eighth day, trek downhill to a glacial lagoon and on day nine, bike downhill to Coroico on a road known to be perhaps one of the most treacherous in the world, often called El Camino de la Muerte. John says this odyssey for adventure seekers and mountaineers will be challenging and unforgettable.

“This is an opportunity for an incredible journey and become immersed in an amazing culture all the while helping veterans in your community,” says John. “It’s a win-win.”

The GreenZone Heroes Bolivia Odyssey is slated for Jan. 8 through Jan. 18, 2016. The cost is $2,900 plus airfare with $500 of each traveler’s fee going directly to the GZH Veterans’ Initiative program. The initiatives supported by are designed to be sustainable and long-lasting programs like alternative therapies for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Sarasota Food Hub / Veteran Farm, Greenzone Heroes Hydroponic Farm with Veterans for Common Sense, Vet- to-Chefs Mobile Food Truck, Extreme Sports for PTSD, Marriage and Family Skill-Building Weekends and ‘Compassion Rising’ which offers opportunities for homeless and dishonorably-discharged veterans.

“I’ve learned the power of volunteerism and believe volunteers are the greatest ambassadors of their communities showing tireless dedication and sacrificing their important time for the benefit of others,” John says.

When people join the GZH Volunteer Corp, they help veterans the most through a patented methodology which will be released on the website this January.

For more information on the odyssey with GZH to Bolivia this January, visit greenzoneheroes.com.