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‘Volcanopalooza’

Local adventurer climbs nine volcanoes for Christmas

Teaching and Learning

By Sandy Woolfrey-Fahey

Memorial University adventurer and educator Dr. TA Loeffler tackled a unique physical challenge over Christmas break. While enjoying her holiday in El Salvador, she climbed nine volcanoes including the country’s highest peak, Llamatepec.

Dr. Loeffler stands at the top of Santa Ana, El Salvador’s highest volcano.
Dr. Loeffler stands at the top of Santa Ana, El Salvador’s highest volcano.
Photo: TA Loeffler

“We called it ‘Volcanopalooza!’” joked Dr. Loeffler, a professor with the School of Human Kinetics and Recreation. “It was a very physically active way to spend the holidays and come back to January fit and ready for winter.”

She made an early start to beat the heat of the day on the morning she tackled Llamtepec, also known as Santa Ana, which stands at 2,381 metres.

“I’ve carried the same Newfoundland and Labrador flag to the highest points of six continents and now 12 countries after this climb in El Salvador,” she said. “As always, I continue to be an advocate for physical activity in the province and my expeditions are one of the ways that I do community engagement and inspiration.”

Dr. Loeffler visits many schools in the province to advocate for physical activity. She says volcanoes often fascinate children and are a good way to engage them in presentations.

“I will be incorporating lots of the imagery, stories and learning from this expedition into the Explorer presentations I do for schools in the province.”

Dr. Loeffler also plans to show students how volcanoes contribute to agriculture in El Salvador during her upcoming visit to a partner school.


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