A Turbulent History
Most living Romanians, especially the older generations, have experienced the turbulent history of their country. Following World War II, Romania was ushered into a communist era along with the rest of the countries that comprised the Soviet Bloc. Romania in particular bore the brunt of one of the cruelest governments of the bloc. The most recent communist dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu, ruled 24 years from 1965 to 1989. His legacy includes maintaining one of the largest and most brutal secret police forces in the world, conducting nation-wide purges of political dissidents, and exporting almost all of the countries resources, which resulted in massive shortages of basic necessities for the people of Romania.
For most, it was a fight for survival under communist rule. Strict food rationing, heating and electricity blackouts, and the constant fear of being turned in to the secret police became the normal state of living. It was estimated that 1 in 43 Romanians were informers for the secret police making any dissent all but nearly impossible. Romania reached a level of desperation that required the bloody Romanian Revolution of 1989 to bring an end to the oppression. Within the span of a few days, Ceausescu was ousted from office and executed on charges of genocide.
Since then Romania has been putting itself back together, but still manys deep scars remain in the wake of their communist past. There still remains significant government corruption, a general lack of trust in people, and a general disbelief that hard work, courage, investment, and perseverance can bring future benefit. This is why we are committed to building trust, perseverance, character, and courage through rock climbing, a sport which inherently builds these attributes.
The Jiu Valley
The Jiu Valley is a beautiful valley in the southern part of the Carpathian mountain range. Historically, it has been a heavy mining and logging region, though these industries are quickly vanishing from the region. As these industries dry up, so do the jobs and livelihoods that go with them. The cities within the valley are struggling to support basic infrastructure, provide decent education, and provide employment for many people in the valley.