Surf With Amigas has a goal of partnering with local non-profits that work to improve the lives of community members in the places we host retreats. Finding a trust-worthy non-profit, working on a project that we want to support, is easier in some places than others.
Luckily for us, our trip leader for the Peruvian retreats, Natalie Small, has been spending quite a bit of time in the country every year for nearly a decade, and has forged many strong relationships with the local women. First traveling to Peru as a tourist with a goal of checking out Machu Picchu in 2013, she fell in love with a seaside town that just happened to be the birthplace of surfing in the region. Natalie is the founder of Groundswell Community Project, a 501-c3 surf therapy organization and created a local chapter in Huanchaco with the goal of healing, empowering, and uniting local women and girls in the waves by making surfing accessible to them.
Surf With Amigas has been able to support the program by buying a quiver of boards for use during our retreats that will be donated to the collective. Two different local shapers made boards to allow the Hermanas to open the very first women-owned, women-run surf school and surf shop in Peru. How rad is that?!
The local women can then use these boards to rent to tourists and use in their community programs, including a bi-weekly surf therapy drop-in for moms and teens. The Hermanas are currently working on getting ISA certified so that they can be surf coaches in Huanchaco.
These boards have given huge opportunity for the local women to be able to be empowered to start their own business in the sea.
Join us on a 2023 Retreat in Peru to support this amazing project and experience the longest left in the world!
Surf With Amigas is offering our first ever Surf Therapy Retreat in partnership with Groundswell Community Project the week of June 11-18, 2022 at our Longboard Surf House location in Southern Costa Rica
WHAT IS A SURF THERAPY GROUNDSWELL + SWA RETREAT?
OUR GOAL WITH OUR SURF THERAPY RETREAT IS THAT YOU LEAVE WITH A SUSTAINABLE SURF PRACTICE ROOTED IN SELF LOVE, SEA LOVE AND SISTERHOOD.
Groundswell + SWA Surf Therapy Retreats are facilitated by licensed clinicians and surf coaches that create a safe space for you to be brave and wild as you explore your truest self expression in the waves and the world.
Surf therapy is for all surf experience-levels. Each retreat combines surf therapy rooted in somatic mindfulness practices, yoga/meditation, SWA’s highest standard of surf coaching, community engagement to support local women’s health and ocean health, and unforgettable adventures that will bond you with your new life long surfsisters.
Our surf therapy retreat and trauma informed instructors are here to support you in building the skills for working with trauma, anxiety, triggers, grief and mental blocks in the waves and back on land to enhance your relationship with self, others and the earth. We believe that surfing mother oceans waves is a powerful tool for reclaiming your healing, power, and belonging and can not wait to paddle out with you!
After 11 years living full time in Central America running Surf With Amigas Retreats, our founder Holly Beck is headed back to CA for at least a year. She is working on earning a Master’s in Counseling with plans to become a licensed therapist focusing on surf therapy.
“The ocean has saved me so many times in my life. From dealing with childhood trauma, relationship breakups, the loss of a family member, and even just day to day struggles, the ocean has always been the place I’ve gone to find healing, clarity, release, and play. I’ve been excited to learn about mental health counseling strategies to combine with my experience in surf coaching. I’ve been working with a friend to create a holistic surf coaching program that I’ll be offering while I’m in California.”
Holly has teamed up with the crew at Groundswell Community Project, a 501c3 non-profit that provides research-based surf therapy curriculum and programs that are rooted in somatic, trauma-informed, nature, and community therapy models to best support the holistic healing of womxn and their communities overcoming various forms of trauma and its mental health effects. Holly will be volunteering to assist Groundswell with their existing programs for underserved communities who may have never even been in the ocean, as well as helping to develop programs for women who already have a surf practice.