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.

SWA just announced Longboard Surf House Retreats for 2023

If you’re on our mailing list, you saw it first! We’ve officially posted ALL 2023 Longboard Surf House retreat dates on the schedule. Join SWA for an epic adventure in April, May, June, or July 2023!

Why so far ahead of time? This retreat location fills up QUICK!

  • Left point-breaks in the backyard
  • Delicious food
  • Refreshing pool
  • Cute accommodations
  • Jungle adventures

Plus the usual super frothy SWA team of badass ladies to support and encourage you in the surf!

Check out the dates by clicking here.

See you in the jungle in 2023!

~  P U R A  V I D A  ~

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-

Q&A with Holly Beck: From Pro Surfer to Surf Therapy Intern

After a career as a professional surfer, SWA Founder Holly Beck ran off to Central America to find herself. She built Surf With Amigas (and a family) over the course of 11 years living between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. In 2021 she decided to move back to calling California home base.

The ocean was always a place holly went to escape and find healing.

Now, she’s pursuing a Master’s in Counseling on the path to become a licensed surf therapist. She’s interning with Groundswell Community Project and partnered with Jess Ripley to create and lead surf therapy programs in Southern California.

Q + A with Holly

Q: What do you hope to accomplish in working with women in the world of holistic surf coaching?

A: After spending the last 12 years involved in surf coaching, i’ve realized that beyond the physical tips like looking down the line, putting more weight on the front foot, and all the other common bits of coaching advice that i’m typically giving Amigas, there is often a mental component as well. Whether it’s the un-helpful voice of our inner-critic, a fear of bigger waves, anxiety about getting in someone’s way, etc., there’s a lot going on in our heads that affects our surfing performance. I’ve been really interested in exploring that internal stuff both in my own life and then also adding it to a coaching program to create a more holistic approach to surf coaching that would be even more effective in the water, but also spill over into benefits to someone’s personal life as well.

Q: You’ve made a few big career changes in the past year. Looking forward, what are you most excited about?

A: I see it all as just continued growth and improvement. I was a pro surfer for a decade and used that knowledge of travel, adventure, and surf skills to create a business geared towards helping women travel to surf. Then in a decade of running surf and yoga retreats, I realized how powerful the empowerment component really is. It felt so good to be able to facilitate travel and adventure and then realize that Amigas were leaving the trip inspired and empowered and even going home to make positive life changes as a result. Adding a more dedicated mental health component to the surf coaching just takes that one step further. So instead of a complete career change, I see it this new step a career enhancement. I’m still super stoked to take people surfing and help them achieve their surf goals, but if I can help raise someone’s awareness of what’s going on in their heads and how that relates to their bodies, then it becomes even more rewarding because I feel like I can have a positive affect on their relationship with themselves and other people around them. Making the world a better place! lol.

Q: What has been the most pleasant surprise in your new journey to becoming a licensed surf therapist?

A: I feel like i’ve learned so much about myself that has made me a better human in the awareness of my own patterns of communication and relating to others. I have a lot more compassion for myself and those around me for sure.

Q: What’s next?

A: There’s a four-week Holistic Surf Coaching program starting Jan 9, 2022, that will be a small group experience on Sundays at Trails in San Clemente, California. I’m also helping out with weekly (Thursday) meetups in Bolsa Chica!

You can find all the info here: surfwithhollybeck.com/coaching

 

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