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Expedition company owners hope excursion leads to business

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Scott Woodhams’ custom Land Rover Discovery gets attention in grocery store parking lots. But it’s nothing compared to the interest he generates when he and friend Bernard Barbour drive around town in their matching SUVs outfitted with roof racks, 100-watt spotlights, brush guards and rooftop tents.

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Central America Overland Expeditions members Bernard Barbour (left), of Martinez, and Scott Woodhams, of Evans, practice setting up their rooftop tents on their expedition vehicles for their upcoming excursion to Central America. The two will also be traveling with Woodhams' wife, Angela.  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Central America Overland Expeditions members Bernard Barbour (left), of Martinez, and Scott Woodhams, of Evans, practice setting up their rooftop tents on their expedition vehicles for their upcoming excursion to Central America. The two will also be traveling with Woodhams' wife, Angela.

“People stop and look at you. I get so many looks at the grocery store,” said Woodhams, 39, of Evans. “When there’s the two of us, that’s when people start asking questions. We draw a lot of attention.”

The questions give Woodhams a chance to tell people about the new travel and adventure company he’s starting with Barbour: Central America Overland Expeditions.

The two, along with Woodhams’ wife, Angela, take off on their first expedition through Central America on July 9. They’ve rented their Evans and Martinez homes and saved up from their jobs as self-employed property managers to fund a three- or four-month expedition at a cost of about $3,000 a month. When they return, the group plans to offer similar excursions to locals looking for adventure or churches looking for mission opportunities.

“It’s exciting. This is something we’ve always wanted to do,” said Barbour, 52, of Martinez.

The trio will drive from Georgia to Texas before crossing the border and making their first stop outside the U.S. in Monterrey, Mexico. They’ll head south along Mexico’s Pacific Coast and cross through Guatemala and Belize before looping around the Yucatan Peninsula and driving north up the Gulf Coast of Mexico.

The trip includes several stops for volunteer work, as charity is a key part of the excursion.

“Anywhere we go, where there’s an opportunity to help out, we want to do that,” Woodhams said.

While in Central America, the group plans to connect with a handful of Christian mission agencies working with children or in community development programs. In the future, he’d like to offer their travel experience to churches doing missionary work in Central America. There’s potential, too, to expand with expeditions to Africa, where Woodhams’ church, New Life Christian Center, is already digging wells.

The trip also includes several stops for sightseeing at beaches, remote villages, mountain towns, tourist destinations and ancient ruins.

“We want to explore, visit, take in the full culture,” Woodhams said. “Our friends and family, they say, ‘Are you crazy?’ There’s been some concern, but we have their full support. It’s been our dream.”

TRACK THE TRAVELS

Track the group’s travels online at facebook.com/CentralAmericaOverlandExpeditions.

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itsanotherday1
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itsanotherday1 06/25/12 - 01:16 pm
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I wish them much success and

I wish them much success and safe travels. I would love to go with them, but with all of the murderous people in that region I could not enjoy the trip for worrying.

localguy
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localguy 06/25/12 - 03:08 pm
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I think statistics will show

I think statistics will show that there are more murders per capita in many of the cities in the U.S., than in most of Central America. The people in Mexico and Central America are hard working friendly people. I am glad to see someone is going down there to help them out. It sounds like a once in a lifetime opportunity! I will be following your travels.

Ruined Adventures
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Ruined Adventures 06/26/12 - 01:31 pm
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Congratulations to Scott, Angela, and Bernard!

I just wanted to comment that we have been traveling for the past 3 months through Mexico, from border to border with lots of zig-zagging. We are now enjoying the amazing country of Guatemala, where life is simple and the people work even harder.

I highly doubt they will meet any murderous people on their journey...as a matter of fact, I'm willing to bet money that there will be many friendly locals willing to bend over backwards and help them feel safe and welcome. Our time in Mexico was amazing and the people are even more amazing, I only wish we could spend another 3-6 months in Mexico since there was so much more to see and experience!

Unfortunately the news in the US only covers drug-related violence in these countries, most of which is concentrated near the border. We have experienced nothing scary so far, even in remote regions or certain regions that are known for cartel activity. There are many peaceful and beautiful places between here and there and we hope Central America Overland meets up with us somewhere along the road to have a celebratory drink together. Cheers!

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