Imagine yourself traveling 7 days, 150 miles by river through the jungles of Central America

with the only way out being the Caribbean Sea……

Now imagine doing this completely self-supported on a Stand Up Paddleboard…..

For this expedition, I assembled a team of adventurers that are just as crazy as I am. The 6 of us plan to make the first SUP descent of the Rio Grande de Matagalpa, in Nicaragua.

Planning has been somewhat of a nightmare due to lack of information of this area as well as not having any contacts in the region. But in the words of one of my favorite people on this big earth ‘Q’ Sapnu ” I love trips like these. The planning and conceptualizing the logistics to me, are all part of the adventure.  It’s like the “hype-man” before a concert… a preview of what’s about to come. Except we’re the creators of the journey. ”

This particular journey will begin in the little village of San Pedro del Norte on May 1st, 2017 and end 7 days later in the blue Caribbean Sea. As we make our way down the crocodile infested waters, we will be hammock camping along the river banks and stopping in the small communities where the indigenous Miskito people reside to document their health struggles. The discoveries we find will serve to guide future medical trips for Missions of Grace. MOG is a non-profit organization that has been working in Nicaragua for over two decades and focuses on empowering remote villages to have access to medical care and a better quality of life.  Being that this section of river is extremely remote paired with the unrest of the indigenous communities with outsiders, the Nicaraguan military feels the need to send a small Navy vessel to follow a few miles behind for the second part of our 150 miles. They will also be our ride down to our extraction point 70 miles further south to the coast line which ends our trip in the little port of Bluefields.

A film crew will be along and will be the first to document this section of river along with its people. This short documentary will introduce these waters and its people to many who would never otherwise have had the opportunity to know of its mysteries.

What makes this expedition an adventure?

  • The unknown: There is little information available on this section of river and is extremely remote.
  • The unsettled: Indigenous communities all over Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast say they are under attack by settlers who have taken over their ancestral lands causing violence between the two parties. This is causing tension with outsiders.
  • Wildlife and Illness: The river is chock-full of crocodiles as well as Zika ridden mosquitos along with other wildlife. The river water is highly polluted and not drinkable without an intricate purification process.

Sam Mauldin