Women on the Chaco Trails
Boquerón. The Paraguayan Organization for Conservation and Sustainable Development (OPADES) organised the 1st Trails Camp for Women. The activity occurred in the National Park ‘Teniente Agripino Enciso’, from October 23rd to 27th.
The organisers pointed out that it is the first time that this type of activity has been carried out in Paraguay. Nonetheless, the event was truly special because it was designed and focused exclusively on women to train them to guide with safety measures and technical knowledge. This training is key since this activity could become a source of income for them and their communities.
Four years ago, OPADES began working on interpretive trails with residents in Ybycuí, in the department of Paraguarí. The experience shed light on the fact that the task of putting up signs and poles and transporting them for several kilometres, in addition to carrying cement, wheelbarrows and other tools, was a job led by men. Thus, the organisation set out to train women to carry out these activities equally. Within the framework of a volunteer program, they created a small school for this purpose.
“The school’s training plan includes making cement, digging wells, learning how to use a crowbar, and similar activities. And so the idea of creating a trail camp for women was born,” says Araceli González, OPADES project manager.
The camp brought together almost 40 women from Ybycuí, Yvytyrusu and indigenous communities settled in the national park’s buffer zone.
The women participated in training workshops where they learned about the types of trails and tourism associated with natural environments. Most importantly, they learned how to transform this knowledge into an opportunity for economic growth.