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Travel | When One Hikes for the World's Refugees

To climb Mount Everest is a dream aspired by many. To reach it is an accomplishment fulfilled by a few. This is how Trail Adventours described why 10 Filipinos joined the arduous journey to Everest Base Camp, a 12-day hike that would leave any hiker gasping for air. Even seasoned mountaineers are no exception to the thinning oxygen levels upon reaching the high altitude.

Brothers Coby and Guido Sarreal, co-founders of the hiking tour company Trail Adventours, have been climbing mountains for more than two decades now. They say they started trekking mountains for the love of the great outdoors. They have reached the Everest Base Camp in previous years, but for both, the trip last October was a little different.

This was because the all-Pinoy team they led in trekking the Everest Base Camp dedicated their hike to refugees, in support of 2 Billion Kilometers to Safety campaign of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Refugee Agency.

The campaign is a virtual movement that encourages supporters to step in solidarity with the world’s refugees. According to UNHCR, refugees around the world walk an estimated 2 billion kilometers every year to reach the first point of safety.

“We all have our grand thoughts about changing the world,” says Angie Tan-Sarreal of Trail Adventours. “Sometimes it’s recognizing how you can help, even if in the little ways.”

Hike for a cause on December 15 with UNHCR and Trail Adventours

As a staunch supporter of the movement, Trail Adventours is taking its commitment a notch higher by organizing a hike-for-a-cause on December 15. For only Php2,500, participants can join a beginner summit to sea adventure to Mt. Gulugod Baboy in Batangas with a side trip to Sombrero Island with the Trail Adventours team and help raise funds for forcibly displaced families around the world.

Citing how a simple hike can help impact lives: Angie shares, “Imagine if you put yourself in other people’s shoes when you have to walk because it will literally save your life. Just being able to reframe hikes a little differently makes you not take for granted the comfort you are enjoying. It makes you not take for granted the fact that you’re able hike a mountain freely, and not because you have to cross borders to get somewhere safe.”

About UNHCR Philippines
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is committed to protecting people forced to flee their homes because of conflict, persecution, and natural disasters. It is in the field in 130 countries. UNHCR has been operating in the Philippines for over three decades. Its activities in the country are framed around the following pillars: Protection and solutions for refugees and asylum seekers, Protection of stateless people, and Protection of internally displaced persons. UNHCR Philippines co-leads the Mindanao Protection Cluster in response to forced displacement situations caused by natural disasters and armed conflict.

About the 2 Billion Kilometers to Safety Campaign 
Refugees and displaced persons across the world walk an estimated total of 2 billion kilometers in a year to find the nearest point of safety. Step in solidarity with refugees and learn how you can make a difference in their lives by logging on to