Here at Earth Pak, we love hearing about how our bags are being used around the world (hence, Earth Pak)! Like every business, we receive plenty of customer emails and inquiries; but every now and then, we'll come across those "hidden gem" emails that remind us why we love our products so much.
While the Earth Pak team is based in beautiful Southern California, we often lose perspective that our products are being used beyond what we see as “normal outdoor activities” (paddle boarding, boating, fishing, or even just heading to the beach). Customers around the globe use Earth Pak products to support purpose-driven initiatives, and at the end of 2017, we were fortunate enough to hear from Somoto Canyon Tours, a local group in Northern Nicaragua that specialized in increasing tourism to their rural community.
The history of Somoto Canyon
Located in Madriz, Nicaragua, Somoto Canyon had not been “discovered” until 2004. Formed 5 to 13 million years ago during the Miocene period, this breathtaking spectacle was declared a national monument in 2006 and is now a developing tourist attraction that is furthering the development of Nicaragua’s tourism economy.
What makes Somoto Canyon Tours unique?
Beyond attracting tourism and improving the local economy in the area, Somoto Canyon Tours is motivated by using a percentage of its profits to support local communities through education and rebuilding infrastructures. For example, the company uses its profits to support local villages in deprived areas around the canyon, just south of the Honduras border, by building potable water, latrines, and more. In addition, Somoto Canyon Tours has been actively engaged in developing the education of its youth in surrounding neighborhoods. The company has re-roofed a school, rebuilt kitchens and toilets, donated prizes for students to encourage competitive self-development within their institutions, and launched scholarship programs for university students.
How the Somoto Canyon Tours team uses Earth Pak’s products
The team uses Earth Pak’s 40L Orange Dry Bags for increased visibility while exploring the canyons, where water can easily sweep away items. Brian Thackray, International Development Consultant of Somoto Canyon Tours states, “The guides find the bags to be perfect for their tours because of their added strength and durability.” Here are some photos that he shared of his team using Earth Pak's 40L Dry Bags:
"Somoto Canyon Tours guide with his EarthPak dry bags in the lower canyon."
"Somoto Canyon Tours guide Uli checks with the base after taking visitors through the canyon. His cell phone is 100% dry thanks to Earth Pak."
Learn more about Somoto Canyon Tours
As one of the largest and most successful tour operators in the area, Somoto Canyon Tours is growing up to 40% year over year and has toured up to 600 travelers a month – with a staff of just 16-20 guides and interpreters.