A total of 2,000 students have participated so far this academic year in the School Hiking Routes organized by the City Council.

This activity, in which 17 local schools collaborate, is aimed at primary and secondary students and organized by the municipal delegations of Youth, Environment and Sports.

The City Council of Estepona reports that a total of 2,000 students of Primary and Secondary schools in the town, aged between 7 and 16 years, have already participated so far this year 2023/24 in the School Hiking Program.

In this program work together the municipal delegations of Youth, Sports and Environment to provide these routes the technical content for which they were designed, as is to promote outdoor sports, while there is an approach to the natural environment of Estepona, promoting respectful attitudes with the space, and instilling a basic knowledge of hiking.

The project is structured in different routes located in the natural environment of Sierra Bermeja, with different degrees of difficulty and always adapted to the age of the participants. The paths and trails through which they pass are signposted and are reviewed periodically by municipal technicians, as well as before the start of the activity, which coincides with the beginning of the school year.

With this initiative, the City Council is taking a stand against the social trend towards sedentary lifestyles that keeps young people away from this type of activity, while at the same time motivating them by offering them the opportunity to participate in an outdoor activity, dynamic, with views and in contact with nature.

The methodology applied in these routes is determined by the need to promote values, attitudes and knowledge of the participating students, who are involved in the routes through various activities that combine sports and training, always from a recreational aspect where coexistence plays a key role.

The five proposed routes are between 4, 6 and 9 kilometers long and run through low and medium mountains and along the paths of the rivers, offering a broad view of the natural wealth of Estepona. These routes are carried out during school hours, with a maximum of 500 students on each outing, and are guided by municipal technicians, with the support of teachers from the schools.

During the last 2022/23 academic year, a total of more than 3,000 students from 12 schools in the municipality took part in this initiative.

The municipal school hiking program was recognized last year by the Spanish Youth Institute (INJUVE). This body, under the Ministry of Social Rights and Agenda 2030, has included this initiative in its latest Catalog of Local Experiences RedSIJ of Youth Work 2023 for the work carried out with local students, for being a good practice and for the methodology used, so that it can serve as an example and can be replicated in other territorial areas.

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