Open Paragliding Championship: Nelson Villafuerte brings international competition to Chiquimula

Updated: Feb 13

The Open Paragliding Championship is a cross country competition that will bring many professional paragliding pilots as well as amateurs looking to break into the sport.

Edgewater, Md. — Registration is now open for the first annual Open Paragliding Championship in Chiquimula, Guatemala. The five-day event starts on March 19, 2021, and runs through March 23, 2021. The competition is open to professional and amateur paragliders and is limited to 70 pilots who can participate in the championship.

The Open Paragliding Championship is a cross country competition that will bring many professional paragliding pilots as well as amateurs looking to break into the sport. Pilots entering the competition are coming from many countries, including the United States, Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, Spain, Germany, France, Hungary, and Costa Rica. The organizers will also provide transportation to and from the airport and hotel to the pilots participating in the competition.

For individuals who have never heard of a paragliding competition, the main objective is to fly as fast as possible and go the furthest distance in the quickest time—the individual who can accomplish this is the winner. The prize pool for the Open is as follows: first place - $3,000, second place - $2,000, and third place - $1,000.

The Open Paragliding Championship is organized and sponsored by Nelson Villafuerte, a P2 paraglider pilot from Guatemala who has lived in the United States since he was 15 years old. He started paragliding back in September of 2020 when he joined his friend in Utah to take a 10-day paragliding course with Cloud 9 Paragliding School. Since Nelson’s first jump, he has been hooked on the sport. When we asked him why he enjoys paragliding, he said he loves the view from high and flying with the buzzard. Nelson also realized that few international competitions reached out to the Latino community and decided to gather paragliding pilots from around Latin America to host the Open Paragliding Championship in his hometown of Chiquimula in Guatemala.

Nelson is also the CEO of Nelson Tree Specialist in Highland, Maryland, and owns a farm in Edgewater, Maryland. Nelson Tree Specialist was established in 2004 and provides a range of professional services, including tree removal, trimming, stump grinding, or removal with certified arborists on staffing.

For more information about the competition in Chiquimula, Guatemala, sponsorship opportunities, or registration, visit Open Paragliding Championship.

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