November and December are the beginning of my favorite time of the year in Nicaragua. The rainy season is over, everything is green and beautiful, the waves are cute and groomed by offshore winds, but the best part might be baby turtles! Surf With Amigas is partnered with El Coco Loco Resort and Waves of Hope on their many projects including a sea turtle conservation project. Watch the video to learn more and visit in November and December to watch baby turtles released into the ocean at sunset.
Jackie George is my new best female friend. Last November I got a random email from her saying she was a lifeguard, raft guide, and enthusiastic surfer looking for a couple weeks of work in Central America. She had just graduated from Humboldt State and was planning to take a big trip through Nicaragua and Costa Rica and wanted to pick up some extra money along the way. I happened to be on a road trip through Northern California at the time and met up with her for a few minutes over-looking the Humboldt surf spot called Camel Rock. My boyfriend Kim and I had slept in our truck the night before and showed up around 9am with coffee looking disheveled. Jackie was in her wetsuit, having already surfed, all bubbly smiling happy energy and I knew right away that she would be a perfect addition to our commune in Nicaragua! She started out with two weeks in January and after that I was determined to do whatever I could to not let her leave! Fortunately, it worked and she stayed the whole season and has agreed to come back in Fall. Stoked!
Everyone who meets her absolutely loves her. She is a gorgeous free-spirit with infectious positive energy who can smile through anything. You’ll love hanging out with her. Check out this video and you’ll see what I mean…
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!
The only thing I like better than an Amiga getting a great wave is an Amiga getting an awesome wipeout. I blew it and cleared out my hard drive most of the way through the season so this only represents a tiny fraction of the awesome wipeouts that we saw in the 2011/2012 season. I’ve chosen my top 4 favorites and now you get to vote for the best. The winner gets a new Freestyle watch. Vote in the comments here, on facebook, via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or follow the link to the youtube video and vote in the comments there. I’ll be tallying up the votes on Friday Aug 10!
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:
Jackie George is one of the awesome instructors at Amigas Surf Retreats. She’s 23 years old from San Clemente, CA. She’s a stylish cruisey regular-footer who fell in love with the long rights of Las Flores on her first trip to El Salvador and is super excited about heading back in October. Join Jackie and Amigas Oct 13-20 and 21-28.
At Amigas Surf Retreats we celebrate hilariousness. It is about surfing and yoga and adventure, but it’s the silliness that occurs along the way that truly exemplifies what we’re all about. This group was one of the most “saucy” that we’ve ever had as the video will show. Check it out and prepare to laugh!
Alison had tried to learn to surf at another surf camp but didn’t learn how to ride a “big kid wave” until coming to surf with Amigas. Along the way she also learned some surprisingly hot dance moves at a mother’s day celebration, rode horses, and made a bunch of new amigas. Stoked!
Steph Wilson works a corporate job in San Francisco, speaks fluent Spanish, and gets excited about arm wrestling. She likes riding in the back of muddy trucks and stylish riding of longboards on long fun rights. Yew!