An amiga who joined us on a retreat last year shared this amazing story of a handful of young women breaking down traditional gender roles to follow their passions of having fun in the ocean while riding waves. In a place racked with poverty, where child marriages are all too common and young girls are forced into the streets to scrounge a living for themselves and their families, these girls have reconnected with having fun, have built confidence, and begun forming new dreams.
Read the article from the LATimes here. The inspired amiga Angie Christides who shared this with us has formed a non-profit called Pelican Crew (website in development) to bring surfing and other beach activities to underprivileged kids locally and internationally. She is holding a fundraiser in Los Angeles, Sunday May 22nd for the girls surf club in Bangladesh. Click here for the full flyer with more information on the event in .pdf form. Help young girls follow their dreams and connect with other awesome surfing women in the LA area by attending this event!
Part two of our January Retreat Highlights package – here’s more surfing action plus some horseback riding and the ladies give back with Waves of Hope by helping to finish the Olas De Esperanza High School project and get it ready for students.
A few months ago a handful of surfers including Holly Beck, Xavier Rudd, Chadd Konig, and the boys from SanFranPsycho teamed up with Surf For Life to give back in Nicaragua. This is the teaser for what will be a film called The Next Step.
Surf With Amigas is partnered with the non-profit Waves Of Hope on a variety of projects including the endeavor to build the first high school in the area. Check out a video by Surf For Life from a recent trip with a group of volunteers. Come down and help us out! During the 2013 season, each retreat will involve the option to spend an a few hours helping out with this project.
They may look like humans but their mermaid fins are revealed the moment they hit the saltwater. They nurture their muscles while mixing cement to build a high school for Nicaraguan children, then dive into the ocean at sunset after a few sips of cold beer. The life of an Amiga.
Baby turtles are so freaking cute! The Amigas are partnered with a non-profit called Waves of Hope who are working to protect sea turtles from poachers. After several months of collecting eggs and keeping them safe, the nests are starting to hatch!
Every few evenings between now and mid-December we’ll be having baby sea turtle sunsets. Come down and help baby sea turtles make their way out to sea!
It’s natural to want to give back and help people. Travel experiences are so much more meaningful when you get a chance to interact with the local community and impact their lives in a positive way. When I was looking for a place to run the women’s surf and yoga retreats I wanted to partner with someone who was making a positive impact on the community. Coco Loco is the perfect place. They run a non-profit called Waves of Hope that is investing in education to teach the people how to help themselves. Those are the sorts of businesses that I want to support and you can feel good about doing the same.
For more information about Waves Of Hope, click here!
Coco Loco, Waves of Hope, and Surf With Amigas are all dedicated to improving the lives of the people in the surrounding communities. One project was the Waves of Hope Surf Club which encouraged kids to attend school everyday by offering them a Saturday Surf Club which they could only attend if their teacher signed off that they had attended class every day, turned in assignments, and were generally being good students. Through this program, kids were motivated to stay in school, but they also got a chance to learn about the ocean and learn how to surf. The only problem was that after catching your first wave, you then want your own surfboard that those are expensive and hard to come by for a poor village kid.
Other gringos in other communities have solved this problem by just giving out a bunch of boards. The problem with this strategy is that the kids then don’t appreciate the value of the boards. They also then start asking for more hand-outs. We didn’t have enough boards for all the kids and tried to come up with a way that they could earn a new board.
Enter the Coco Loco Classic – We held a contest for 11 participants on a fun day at the point. A few of them didn’t even have a surfboard to use for the competition so we let them borrow some of ours. The contest ended in a tie so we gave out two boards but everyone had a great day with a fun friendly competitive spirit.
Watch the video below:
I believe in Karma. Good deeds are rewarded. Positive vibes multiply. Giving back to a community is rewarded with big smiles and good waves. This week seemed to prove all those points. Ten friends spent a morning painting a new local school and then scored an amazing week of awesome waves. Click Play above to see how it all went down.
Imagine you’re a 12 year old kid growing up in a remote fishing village in Northern Nicaragua. You’ve spent most of your life barefoot, chasing chickens and skinny dogs through barbed-wire fences. You learned to ride a horse at age 5 and by age 7 your dad had you herding cattle between pen and pasture. Your parents keep you busy with the chores of survival. There’s a two room school house just down the street but not much incentive to attend so you don’t know how to read.
Then one day, some gringos show up and buy land nearby. They give your uncles jobs in construction building a small eco-resort called El Coco Loco. Your mom gets hired to help out in the kitchen and your older brother scores a job as a night watchman.
Coco Loco founds a community development focused non-profit called Waves of Hope to improve the lives of the community they’ve fallen in love with. Volunteers come down from the US and Canada, girls with big smiles that spend mornings in the little school helping the one teacher that is assigned to teach three grades at once. In the afternoons they organize soccer games on the Coco Loco field, do art projects, and teach English. On Saturdays any kid that has attended classes Monday – Friday gets to borrow a surfboard and feel the joy of riding a wave.
Suddenly, there’s a lot of incentive to go to school. Attendance skyrockets. The tiny two room school house is no longer big enough.
Then Waves Of Hope announces that it will build a new school room for 4th, 5th, and 6th graders. But we need your help!