In 2009, Manuel Pizarro became the first person from Quebec to summit Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world – twice.

Join Pizarro at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4 at the Rockport Opera House as he shares his personal accounts of struggle and achievement on Mount Everest and other high altitude summits. His compelling presentation is sure to inspire individuals to reach for thier dreams.

Pizarro was born in Valparaiso, Chile and immigrated to Canada 1973. As a young man, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Cadets and soon became an outdoors enthusiast. In 1985, Pizarro started his climbing career on the smooth slopes of Mount Washington, quickly graduating to the great giants of British Columbia Canada and beyond. Over the past decade, Pizarro has led expeditionary teams to many of the world’s tallest mountains, including Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina, Mt. McKinley in Alaska, Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and several high altitude treks in the Himalaya, including Surya and Kala Pattar in Nepal, and, of course, Mount Everest.

At times, Mother Nature was relentless with Manny and his teammates, forcing them to retreat from their summit bids as the only way to survive. Although these endeavors are extremely demanding on the body and mind, Manny believes that they teach people the true meaning of determination, perseverance, teamwork, and conflict resolution, and above all else, the value of learning from mistakes. He embarks on these projects because he loves climbing and truly believes that his expeditions help people look beyond their own distinctive challenges. “I initiated these projects, because climbing is a part of me, but also because I sincerely believe that my expeditions inspire in children and, people of all ages and backgrounds, the ability to overcome their own mountains, be it physical, psychological or educational.

Pizarro, founder and co-leader of Manuel Pizarro Expeditions, is based in Montreal, Quebec. In his presentation, he aims to evoke passion, imagination, courage and perseverance in his audience. Pizarro’s talk will be supplemented with powerful stories and images of his travels and experiences that will demonstrate the amazing parallels between climbing mountains and life itself, and is sure to be a memorable experience.

Mount Everest: Challenge and Inspiration is presented by the Camden Conference and the Rockport Public Library offered as a free community event in anticipation of the 24th Annual Camden Conference: The Challenges of Asia, Feb. 18-20, 2011.

For more information, please call 236-1034 or visit www.camdenconference.org.