One day, members of our mission team had the opportunity to hike up into the largely undeveloped national park whose boundary is just above the village where we work. Somehow I came away without a photo of our guide, Mario Orellano, who has won numerous conservation awards for his work as a naturalist. Mario loves to share his knowledge with us and this was my fourth time up the mountain with him, although after the rainy deluges of the prior week, this was the slipperiest scramble up to date.
In the United States, national parks usually come with a bounty of infrastructure. This particular park in Honduras has very little. The trail that we took, up through the family’s coffee plantation and on into the cloud forest, is one that Mario himself has hacked out from the tangle of vegetation. Each visit reveals new fungi, orchids, insects, and plants. Multi-day tours up into the national park are also available through D&D Adventures, associated with the lodge where I stayed in Los Naranjos at the beginning of my trip.