Caledon woman completes Ecuador trek, raising money for Family Transition Place

December 21, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Zachary Roman

A Caledon woman recently completed an epic hike in Ecuador.

Trish Condo is a realtor with Royal Lepage, which runs the Royal Lepage Shelter Foundation. 

Every two years, the foundation hosts a challenge hike for employees. They must raise at least $6,000 and choose a local shelter to support — in Condo’s case, this was Family Transition Place in Orangeville — and cover their personal trek and travel costs to participate.

In November, 115 Royal Lepage employees took part in the “Ecuador Challenge for Shelter.” They flew to Ecuador and hiked for five days (camping for four nights) on their way to the base of Mt. Cotopaxi, one of the world’s highest active volcanoes.

In total, the employees raised $1.7 million for the Royal Lepage Shelter Foundation, the most ever raised by one of the treks. In addition to helping employees’ local shelters, funds also go to programs across Canada that teach youth how to build healthy relationships. Additionally, a donation was made to the women’s shelter in Quito, Ecuador’s capital.

Condo explained she hosted a themed “Rock and Roll bingo” event which raised $4,000, and then completed the rest of her fundraising with donations from friends and family. 

Condo said she loves hiking and she hiked a lot more than usual in the months leading up to the big trek to train. 

“I’ve always loved nature,” said Condo. “If I could live in the woods by myself I wouldn’t have a problem.”

She said going on the treks is great because it feels amazing to raise money for a good cause while also seeing new things and having awesome life experiences. Condo has been on previous treks too, in places like Iceland and the Sahara Desert.

“Every day is different, and some days are very hard,” she said. “In Ecuador, we went as high as 13,000 feet.”

Condo recalled her trek in Iceland, crossing a treacherous bit of terrain called the “Cat’s Spine”.

“It felt like it was 100 metres long, and you can only put one foot in front of the other… there was a steep drop on each side,” she said. 

Completing challenging hikes like this with colleagues is part of what makes going on the hikes so rewarding, said Condo.

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