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.