More than 100 Seventh-day Adventist from the Central Dominican Conference in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, pose for a group photo at the Pico Duarte, the highest peak on the island and the Caribbean on Jan. 16-21, 2020. The youth ministries department has organized the expedition every year since 1987. [Photo: Central Dominican Conference Facebook]

February 18, 2020 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | Central Dominican Conference/IAD News Staff

A group of Seventh-day Adventists climbed one of the highest peaks on Isla Española in the Dominican Republic during a recent expedition. The more than 100 young people and adults took part in the trek, which spanned the 84 kilometers between Armando Bermudez National Park and Pico Duarte, as part of an annual event organized by the youth ministries department of the Central Dominican Conference

Pico Duarte, at 3,087 meters, is the tallest mountain in the Dominican Republic and the highest peak in all the Caribbean islands.

“We like to take this journey at the beginning of every year to get young people and adults to go back to the basics of living in nature, get some physical exercise and focus on God the Creator and Sustainer of all nature,” said Pastor Socrates Payano, youth ministries director for the church in the Central Dominican Conference. “They all learn lessons on fellowship, leadership, and survival, while leaving the noise noise of the city.”

Climbers follow the trail during the annual event organized every third week in January. [Photo: Central Dominican Conference Facebook]

This year’s group numbered 106 – the first time more than 100 people participated. Organizers hope there will be even more for the next year’s expedition, which is already scheduled for the third week of January 2021.

During the expedition, which took place last month, participants hiked, took photos and learned about indigenous flora and fauna. They also learned more about protecting the environment.

“This has been one of the most gratifying experiences of my life,” said Rebeca Guzmán, one of the first-time climbers this year. “I challenged myself and thanks to God I was able to reach the top of Pico Duarte.” Guzman said it wasn’t easy, but she was helped and encouraged by fellow climbers and expedition leaders.

The activity was covered by several national print media.

Group heads to Pico Duarte with an altitude of 3,087 meters. [Photo: Central Dominican Conference Facebook]

To learn more about the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s initiatives and activities in the Central Dominican Conference headquartered in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, visit their Facebook page HERE

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