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What is it?

Andrea Diaz, the founder of Waves Costa Rica Surf Camp, has a passion for teaching kids how to surf in Tamarindo, a beachside town known internationally for its popular surf scene and proximity to Ollie’s Point and Witch’s Rock, two of the best breaks in Costa Rica. She grew up in a small village near there, and the sport of surfing took her around the world as she represented Costa Rica as a former Women’s champion and member of their international team.

So to give back to her community Andrea created the Surf for Youth Program. “Our goal is to introduce surfing to kids who otherwise could not afford to try it. We encourage kids to use the sport as a way of life, to live healthy and stay in school.”

Part of the requirements for participation is that student must have good grades, good conduct, and be role models in their community. The program is not to train them to be professional surfers, but to teach them the discipline, the effort, and the determination that it takes to ride waves. “Since there are no ‘after school activities’, the Surf for Youth program keeps the kids busy, focusing their energy in a positive way,” explains Diaz. One of the highlights for the kids in 2012 was getting to meet 3 time world champion surfer Lisa Andersen and learning CPR and surf rescue techniques.

When did we start the program?

They began in May, 2012. After moving from the Central Pacific and setting up our business in Tamarindo, we recognized the needs of our community as well as the overall surf industry, so we decided to create the first Surf For Youth (SFY) surf contest. We had three objectives for the event:

  • To bring the “surfing limelight” back to Guanacaste, since Guanacaste was left out of all surfing competitions in Costa Rica.
  • To inspire the younger generations of surfers so that they could watch their role models compete and spend a day with them.
  • To raise funds and donations for the kids in the Surf For Youth program, asking the pro surfers as well as the industry to donate: surfboards, surfing trunks, bathing suits, rashguards, and leashes

The next Surf for Youth contest is planned for July 5th to the 7th, 2013.

What have they achieved?

  • All of the kids participating in the SFY program graduated elementary school with high grades. They are all now in High school.
  • The kids met 3x world surfing champion Lisa Andersen from the United States, and 1x world surfing champion Sofia Mulanovich from Peru.
  • The participants received CPR and Water rescue training.
  • Participants were able to go for the 1st time on a boat tour to Witch’s Rock with National Surf Champs: Gilbert Brown, Jair Perez, Federico Pilurzu, Isaac Vega, Josymar Fuentes, along with the editor and famous Redbull photographer: Agustin Munoz for an editorial for 7mares, a Latin American Surf Magazine.
  • The Surf For Youth program was featured in 7mares Magazine with a four page article in their March 2013 edition.
  • Some participants are now competing on the National Surf Circuit.

What are our goals?

  • To offer after school English classes for SFY members. We have a teacher to donate time, but need to coordinate transportation for the kids or the teacher.
  • To achieve Level Three Surf Instructor certification in Australia.
  • To help the kids in school maintain good grades.
  • To help the participants who want to compete on the National Surf Contest, inspiring them to make the national surf team and represent Costa Rica internationally.
  • To provide quality surfing equipment for future participants.
  • To provide school supplies (backpacks, shoes, clothes) for the kids who need financial help.

Our current sponsors:
Reserva Conchal
The Westin
Fundación Florida
Marlin Del Rey
Quiksilver & Roxy Surf Camps
CR Surf Travel Company
If you wish to become a sponsor or dónate equipment, please contact Andrea Diaz.






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