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  ~

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

 

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.

 

Surfing with Shelly in Morocco

With a gorgeous cliffside backdrop, super stylish surfer, and phenomenal videographer, this windy afternoon in Morocco was a recipe for greatness. Well, now that I think of it, the entire retreat season was destined to be great!

The retreat setup looked like this: We surfed long, peeling rights every single day, then relaxed at the luxury villa in between sessions. We explored old cities and shopped for Moroccan treasures, then slid down sand dunes at sunset. We laughed, cried, danced, and ate a TON of amazing food. For each and every one of us, it was the surf adventure of a lifetime.

Enjoy this video of SWA surf coach Shelly Massie taking an afternoon slide at our retreat location in southern Morocco
To learn more about our 2022 Retreats in Morocco, click here.

*videos captured by @itchyfeetmood & @amine_nader_photography