Each of us, having worked in the travel industry for a number of years, has seen the positive and negative impacts of tourism, especially in less developed countries. We aim, through the running of motorcycle expeditions with Compass Expeditions, to have as positive an impact as possible. With our ethics and environment policy we aim to train staff and also to give our passengers a better understanding of their impact on the areas they travel through. We also have a fund that we will use to contribute to important projects throughout the South American continent. These projects will be updated as we continue to contribute time and money to worthwhile initiatives.
In this age of environmental concern we are aiming to reduce our impacts as much as we possibly can. This will be partly achieved by taking steps on our tours to reduce unnecessary waste, limit plastic bag use, support local tourism as well as attempting to make our office environment almost paper free. This is where you can help! We ask that clients reduce the amount of information that they print off our web site by thinking about what they really need in a hard copy, for this we thank you in advance.
Far from searching for some “feel good” charities for us to sponsor, so that we might look good, Compass Expeditions supports two extremely worthy causes. One a charity and one an impoverished school located in an extremely harsh environment in Bolivia. We support these people because they are our friends and we want to and there is a real need, not because we need to for a corporate image. We are serious about contributing not only to the areas we ride through but also helping make a difference in our own backyard.
Friedreich’s Ataxia Network
Some years ago we had the pleasure of meeting a most amazing girl on one of our tours, Cathy McLean. Cathy suffers from a rare and eventually fatal disease known as Friedreich’s Ataxia. She inspired some of us to undertake a charity motorcycle ride from London to Vladivostok raising $20,000 along the way. Cathy’s passion for life has been a catalyst for the establishment of Compass Expeditions, and as a result of this we continue to donate to Friedreich’s Ataxia Network, F.A.N. a charity that Cathy, along with us, established some years ago. Our hope is to keep providing grass root support but more importantly we hope to raise awareness of this terrible disease so that one day it may not languish in the fund raising back waters and some serious research may begin to save lives. To learn a little more about F.A.N and maybe spread the word, check out www.fan.asn.au
Postscript; sadly Cathy finally lost her battle with Friedreich’s Ataxia, mid 2012, after a 20 year fight. R.I.P Cathy, the world is a poorer place now.
A small Bolivian School
While driving through a tiny collection of mud huts between Uyuni and Potosi, Bolivia, some years ago, we were flagged down and greeted by a school principal, it is a tiny spec on the high Bolivian Altiplano that we have gone through many times before. This initial contact eventually led us to support the school at a basic hands on level. Today on every tour that includes Bolivia we stop by this school loaded with those things that are not supplied by the school, simple things such as school supplies, playground equipment and even fruit and vegetables, (in very rare supply at this altitude), but which makes life a lot easier and more enjoyable for the children. We do now, as we have always done, while doing a Bolivian tour, collect a small donation from willing passengers as well as funds that we have contributed and buy any other items the principal indicates they are lacking.
This year, among other items, we will be contributing musical instruments. It’s a wonderful couple of hours spent with the children and a great and, sometimes emotional, time is enjoyed by everyone, especially the kids.