BENEFITING: WAVES FOR DEVELOPMENT
THE STORY: As a lover of the ocean and passionate surfer, I’ve always heard Peru referenced as the “land of the lefts” which sets up well for this goofy footer. Within the surfing community it’s no secret that Peru has some of the most premiere surfing locations in the world and is quickly becoming known as one of the popular stretches for those in search of swell.
Last month I decided I’d make a pretty big departure from my regular scheduled programming and leave my job at Red Bull after 10 yrs of giving Wiiings to people and ideas in exchange for personal growth led by helping others and immersing myself in different cultures. I’ve always wanted to combine my love for travel and surfing with doing something that would not only benefit me, but the people and the communities that call these beautiful places home. I’ve researched and read so many great stories of people doing this and never felt I had the time or the opportunity to do it.
Well, now I do. ☺
This January I am beyond STOKED to be heading to Peru, as a volunteer with Waves for Development, a non-profit organization that connects the dots between volunteering, traveling to surf, community-based tourism and grassroots initiatives in Nicaragua, Mexico, and Peru.
WAVES stands for Water, Adventure, Voluntourism, Education, and Sustainability, and is a unique organization that combines a love for surfing and the coast with volunteerism and community building.
During my time volunteering I'll be helping with various projects based on the needs of the program and community. This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the program in Lobitos, which is rad because I’ll be putting my event production experience over the years to use helping produce a community event to celebrate the success of past volunteer projects that have enriched and empowered this community as well as introduce upcoming phases of the program.
WAVES focuses on three main areas including:
Community Outreach programs, with youth in particular, teaching English and helping them pursue educational activities so they set career goals and live healthy lives. Of course, I’ll also be having some fun teaching swimming and surfing lessons to local youth in the community to help them try something new and build confidence outside of the classroom. One thing for certain is our love for the ocean being the common bond that brings us all together on this journey.
Entrepreneurship Empowerment through mentoring community members without access to financial services and business guidance, to generate economic activity through socially minded micro-enterprise projects like Plastic Desert which removes plastics from our ocean and beaches while local Peruvian artists weave recycled plastic into beautiful bags to help create jobs and economy. I’m excited to leverage the skills I’ve built up over the years to hopefully empower the local entrepreneurs realize their ambitions. I’m confident I'll be the one learning more from them in the end. ☺
Environmental Health programs designed to create a health supportive environment through sustainable construction, water systems, recycling, beach cleanups, and marine protected area.
During my time in Lobitos, I‘ll be staying with a local family and other volunteers who will provide basic lodging and 3 meals/day. The program requires each volunteer contribute a minimum of $595 to the program to help ensure financial stability of the program and it’s small staff. I’ve already made one $200 donation and once this campaign goes live will make another donation matching that to kick things off. Already having put $400 of my own money into this, let’s see what we can do together! I'll be in Peru for atleast 4-5 weeks which I expect will require about $1,600 to go into the program for basic needs of the local staff and program expenses. I will be using my own funds for the travel to Lobitos, so none of your contributions go towards my travel expenses.
ALL of the money I raise with your help goes directly to expenses related to the WAVES programs in the community. The amount I’ve requested is to help support the minimum requirement for the program and anything over the minimum goes directly to expensed related to the program like the event I mentioned. Examples of these additional expenses include educational supplies, building materials, maintenance of their surf and sports equipment, support of the staff on site, and contributions to the homestay.
I’d love for all of you to join me on this journey, but since I’m pretty sure you all can’t physically be there I’m asking you to donate to this awesome non-profit and be a part of this with me by supporting my efforts. I’ll be keeping you all up to date with a blog on my travels and how things are progressing along the way.
To all my creatives out there, if you have any rad ideas you want to contribute to this experience to generate awareness, raise funds, or just share hit me up! Any and all ideas are welcome when it comes to helping enrich the lives of others.
100% of donated funds will go towards the program. Your donation to Waves for Development (a US-Based 501(c)3 charitable organization) through CrowdRise is 100% tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law and you will receive an IRS accepted Email receipt upon donating.
If you couldn’t tell, I’m pretty excited to be able to take this journey. It’s been an itch I’ve wanted to itch for a while and I’m so grateful that a program like WAVES exists.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about the WAVES program and the journey I am about to embark on. Any contribution, whether small or large, or even encouraging someone to get involved will be extremely appreciated and go towards a great cause!
mucho amor y muchas olas! (Much Love and Many Waves!)
*To learn more about the community in Lobitos and the WAVES programs click the link below for a cool video put together by a recent volunteer Lobitos
MORE INFO ABOUT WAVES: