TREK San Luis: Back in Aurora

December 30, 2009 Voluntourism

TREK San Luis is our second outreach in the province of Aurora, and the adventure just got better, thanks to the Aurora Off-roaders Club!

Our group, known as TREK or TRails to Empower Kids, extended aid to the students of Kalapnit Neighborhood Pre-School and Kalapnit Elementary School.

The 4x4 adventure was rough, bumpy, and totally exhilarating. I'm not a fan of fast thrills, so my heart was racing as we crossed rivers and encountered big bumps on the road. It only settled when we got down and started on a short but very relaxing river trek, with crystal-clear waters, colorful river rocks, and lush greens.

Aurora Offroaders in Action

Members of the Aurora Offroaders Club

The community is nestled in a valley and is only accessible by foot. It is one of those places where I could imagine myself waking up early, sipping a cup of coffee, and looking at the mountains surrounding me.

It is a small community with approximately 50 students. The concerning aspect of the schools, which is one of the reasons we chose this as a project site, is the low academic performance of the students.

In an effort to make a positive impact, we decided to provide each student with their own backpacks, complete with school supplies and toys. For the school, we contributed reading corners, each equipped with shelves, educational toys, books, and one comfort room.

Our usual program included speeches, games, and the turnover of donations to the community.

Happy to receive her shirt

Distribution of donations

While the program was ongoing, we couldn't help but sneak glances at a really long table covered with banana leaves. Rice was arranged in the middle, topped with freshwater shrimps, eel, and vegetables cooked in coconut milk.

Our hosts offered us a few times, but we were shy and told them we wanted to finish the program first.

So, by the time we were done, immediately after saying our prayers, it poured. Well, not even the rains stopped us from enjoying the feast.

Camp at Digisit Beach

After the outreach, the team camped at Digisit Beach.

When we got to the site, our friends from Maria Aurora Outdoors Club were already there and done preparing our dinner.

Digisit is another excellent beach camp. The beach is filled with coconut trees, and there are bamboo cottages available. Fresh water flows from the nearby waterfalls. The best, of course, are the corals forming a reef in front of the beach.

Digisit, our beach camp view

We spent the whole night bonding with friends from MAOC and new friends from the Off-roaders club. We celebrated our second-year anniversary, which also marked my second birthday celebrated with TREK.

The following day, the waves were a bit too strong, so we opted to stay in the waters near the beach. Some of the participants left that afternoon, while the rest stayed for a tour of Aurora's PAG-ASA Station, Ermita Hill, and the famous surfing beach of Baler.

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