San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Tico to walk the country, border to border, to promote environmental awareness

Jorge Astúa Arias, 58, will walk 397.6 miles in a week, hiking from the border with Panama in the south to the Nicaraguan border in the north, in a campaign for environmental protection.

Astúa plans to walk 90 miles a day for 18 hours, following the Inter-American Highway. His journey starts at midnight Jan. 15 in Paso Canoas on the Costa Rica–Panama border, and is expected to be completed by Jan. 21, in Peñas Blancas, at the border with Nicaragua, according to a press release from the Environment Ministry.

The athlete began preparing for his long journey three years ago.

“This border-to-border walk will raise awareness among citizens about how they can contribute to environmental conservation through exercise,” Astúa said. The campaign is called “Limpia tu huella” (Clean your [carbon] footprint).

He added that people should depend less on traditional transportation methods. “We must encourage the population to get into the habit of walking instead of using cars or motorcycles, so we can give the planet a break. Everyone can do a part to stop polluting, so that we can help Costa Rica be 100 percent carbon neutral by 2021. That has to be a commitment of all of us,” Astúa said.

The walk will be followed by a clock counter to be installed on the “Clean your footprint” Facebook profile.

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