How Does SWA Give Back to the Community in Northern Nicaragua?

Mujeres Que Mueven is a non-profit organization in northern Nicaragua that inspires and empowers women to better self-manage their health through movement, group support, and dietary awareness. This is just one of several organizations that SWA supports in rural northern Nicaragua. We believe that travel is more meaningful when you have a chance to give back and support programs that improve the lives of locals wherever you are.
When you join a surf with amigas retreat In nicaragua, this is how you’re helping give back!

Last year SWA funded Mujeres Que Mueven’s annual nutrition challenge, and we’re proud to be funding the event again this year! The inspiring event in the village of Aserradores gives local women access to a month-long intensive program that is focused on exercise, nutrition, healthy cooking, and healthy habit forming.

Aside from the annual nutrition challenge, Mujeres Que Mueven holds exercise classes every afternoon, and each month offers one educational workshop and one women’s night. The women’s nights are built around wellness practices that include affirmations, vision boards, empowerment circles, self massage, and reiki.

MQM is empowering women in rural Northern Nicaragua to take charge of their personal wellness to lead healthier and happier lives.

At many of the monthly workshops, Nicaraguan women are invited on behalf of the organization to come to the village and teach local women about nutrition and self care. An amazing workshop was hosted in April 2022 that focused on education about the menstrual cycle and how to use menstrual cups + period panties. Over 30 cups were donated by Lenacup and MQM purchased panties to give to the women who attended. Over 25 women from the surrounding area attended and there were even families of three generations. Check out a highlight of the incredible event here.

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT MUJERES QUE MUEVEN AND HOW TO GET INVOLVED, CLICK HERE.

Elevating Female Surfers Who Are Breaking Stereotypes: A Visual Project

When we’re asked to collaborate with a few inspiring women in Northern Costa Rica to support a project that elevates the reality of diverse lineups of female surfers, we immediately said YES.
Our friend Ivana +  her team recently created a set of fine photography prints (soon to be transformed into a gorgeous coffee table book) that are being used to tell a different story about women’s surfing than traditional marketing tells. The project is meant to encourage girls and women around the globe to free themselves of stereotypes and limitations of their engagement in sports and recreation.

Below you can learn more about the project from Ivana herself-

I am the author and producer of the project Nature of Surf Women, which is a result of my passion of making a project about a new wave of female surfers that are breaking existing stereotypes of beauty, age, and strength.
I met the photographer, Gabriela Tellez, in 2020. She has a deep understanding of creating a narrative, so we did a test photoshoot in April 2020. Not only does Gabi have the artistic style I was envisioning for the project she also fits the profile of being a female photographer from Costa Rica with an international career. It was an instant match, so we decided to live and work together in Nosara for a year.

In Nosara, there is a diversity of female surfers and many were happy to join the project and to evolve in their relationship with their bodies, with nature, the ocean and surfing. We have photographed a total of 33 women ages 12-67 years old representing all surfing levels.

We just published our website with a number of limited edition fine art photography prints. Buying the images will help us raise funds for the next stage of the project which is a coffee table book design and publication. It will be a multimedia book that will use QR codes with sounds of nature from Costa Rica, original songs from some of the surfers portrayed in the book as well as their life stories.

Our goal is to apply for Kickstarter to introduce the project to the broader audience of women who love nature, surfing, and adventure, while also encouraging girls and women around the globe to free themselves of stereotypes such as beauty standards and limitations of their engagement in sports and recreation.
We are honored that Holly Beck joined our team and that she will share her life story as an introduction to the book.
Stay tuned as we will post you when we launch the project on Kickstarter.

Stay connected to the project here-

Protecting Sea Turtles in Southern Costa Rica

TRAVEL WITH SWA, TRAVEL WITH PURPOSE

Each time you join a SWA retreat, you help to support important projects that impact the local communities aT our retreat locations.

For several years we’ve been supporting an amazing sea turtle conservation project in Punta Banco, a small beach community in Southern Costa Rica near one of our retreat locations. The project not only helps protect turtles from environmental threats and human consumption but also provides work opportunities for locals in the community. During retreats we’ve been lucky enough to watch the organization grow and help release hundreds of baby sea turtles alongside local volunteers.

In the last 7 years the project has been completely in the hands of the local environmental commission, which is part of the Punta Banco neighborhood association. While the focus with other organizations in the past used to be “just” conservation, the project now also tries to leave a positive socio-economic impact on the village community.

The project is almost fully funded by private donations which help the organization build hatcheries and pay local volunteers. Click here to learn more about the Punta Banco Sea Turtle Conservation Project and how you can support by adopting a sea turtle nest or donating to the project.

 

It’s Never Too Late to Become a Surfer: Mary’s Story

Mary joined us this season at the Southern Costa Rica Longboard Surf House with a few of her closest surf friends. These ladies surfed for hours every day and reminded us that it’s never too late to just go for it and try the things you’ve always dreamed of trying. 

“I’m going to turn 70 and really what I think about is that it’s time to do everything that I really want to do. There’s no time a wastin’ here.”

Enjoy Mary’s surf story below

Inspiring Surfers: Advanced Tube Riding Retreat

14 charging amigas + 1 super cool amigo joined us at the Northern Nicaragua retreat location for a week-long shred fest! We had a record breaking week with the most tubes ever ridden, the gnarliest waves ever taken, and the best turns ever completed. This inspiring group of surfers spent the week pushing their limits and supporting each other along the way. We can’t wait to do a retreat like this again!

Enjoy this recap of the Advanced Retreat shred-fest in Nicaragua!

Most of our retreat locations are open to surfers of ALL levels and have plenty of shortboard-able waves close by. If you’re a fellow shortboarder and feel inspired to join a retreat and level up your technique, contact us here to see which retreat might be the best fit for you!