Rafting for peace: former FARC-EP members will participate at the world rafting championship in Tully, Australia.
Five former FARC-EP guerrillas and three members from the Miravalle community in San Vicente del Caguán, Colombia were trained as rafting guides and are now running a productive project in the Pato River.
In the Miravalle Territorial Area for Training and Reintegration - TATR, an emblematic region for the history of the armed conflict in Colombia, five FARC members in reintegration process and three members of the community, including a woman, founded a tourism project that includes rafting tours along the Pato River. The project’s members received training from the Colombian National Training Service (SENA by its acronyms in Spanish) and the Costa Rican company "Ríos Tropicales" and the ex-combatants have been certified as rafting guides by the International Rafting Federation (IRF). The project is also supported by the Colombian Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, the Reintegration and Normalization Agency (ARN by its acronyms in Spanish), ProColombia and the UN Verification Mission in Colombia.
In recognition of their efforts, the International Rafting Federation (IRF) extended a special invitation to the Miravalle rafting team to participate in the 2019 World Rafting Championships in Tully, Australia, where they will participate out of competition, under the newly-established IRF Peace Flag. This will be an opportunity for them to meet other teams, exchange experience and share their inspirational story abroad.
Last Wednesday, February 27, was the official launch of the project "Rafting for Peace". The event was attended by Andres Stapper, General Director of ARN, representatives of the Vice-Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, ProColombia representatives, FARC political party representatives, the entire Miravalle team and representatives of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia.