Cayman athlete and marathon runner Derek Haines, 69, will once again climb the Acatenango volcano in Guatemala to raise funds in support of the Good Samaritan Food Bank in Grand Cayman.
Alongside Lynn Roffey, Mr. Haines will attempt a one-day ascent of the 13,045-foot-tall volcano in Guatemala’s highland region on Sunday to raise awareness and funds for the core hunger relief organization operating on island.
The two climbers originally had planned on climbing neighboring Volcan de Fuego but it recently began to erupt, making the trek impossible and potentially fatal.
Mr. Haines witnessed Fuego’s volatile nature when it erupted in July during another charity climbing trip. From atop Acatenango, he described seeing “intermittent plumes of grey smoke belching from Volcano Fuego, close across the valley and some 700 feet below.”
Mr. Haines and Ms. Roffey, who will be joined by a few Guatemalan Rotary friends, will traverse steep and difficult terrain throughout their climb, which is expected to take more than 10 hours, if conditions remain favorable.
This is the second time Mr. Haines has tackled Acatenango. He climbed the volcano in July last year, as he was taking part in the “Volcanoes and Marathons Challenge” to raise funds for the Central Caribbean Marine Institute education initiative, Reefs-Go-Live. As part of that challenge, he also climbed the Pacaya volcano.
Rotary Past President Alan Roffey, Chris Johnson and Trevor Neckles will also make the journey with Mr. Haines in support of the Rotary Literacy Project in Guatemala.
“I’m happy to support the Food Bank as it centralizes and coordinates food for charities that I have previously run for and supported,” Mr. Haines said in a press release. “I think it is great that efforts are being coordinated as it helps to focus effort and donations. By donating to the Food Bank, you are essentially helping all the existing food support programs, including Meals on Wheels and Feed Our Future, to name a few.”
Mr. Haines also noted, “As always, all expenses are paid for by myself and there are no management fees. Every donation goes entirely to the charity.”
Through this climb, coupled with two marathons to be run later this year, Mr. Haines hopes to raise $35,000 for the necessary equipment that the food bank needs to operate.
According to the press release, the Good Samaritan Food Bank supports the community through a three-tiered approach: Emergency food relief to those who do not have access to food pantries or food counters; meal programs for youth; and empowerment programs and education for families and individuals.
An account will be set up by Rotary to collect donations.
To find out more about donating to the Good Samaritan Food Bank, contact [email protected]foodbank.com.