All I can say is wow. What a whirlwind of a trip…before, during and after the stoke mission. We have had this trip booked for a long time and as fate would have it we had a massive storm barreling towards florida right before the trip. So I decided to invite my friend and local meteorologist, James Wieland on this trip. He warned me that should there be a storm during that time he would have to last minute cancel. I never thought that we could have such tragic timing. Days leading up to us leaving things were looking really bad with Hurrican Irma. By the day we left we were in the cone and it was looking like a catastrophic impact. Needless to say James had to cancel his trip. He was so bummed and I was so bummed for him. Timing couldn’t have been worse. He even had gone around town and collected a bunch of gear for us to donate to the kids in Peru and personally made really cool t-shirts for our girls Chicama Surf Team. Beside myself, the other team memebers on this trip were Matthew De Mayo and Jeanine Haddad of Domical Waveriders, a successful surf camp located in Dominical, Costa Rica. Jeanine also helps run Chicas Con Proposito there which is where we met her. They use surfing as a means to create moral values and purpose for the local girls around Domincal.
The getting to Peru is always fun for us because we choose to fly at night so that we can have a half day to surf when we get there. That means spending about nine hours trying to sleep on the floor in Lima. Usually we arrive pretty sleep deprived. That is okay because as soon as we land we are greeted by the amazing Chicama Resort staff to take care of us. When we arrived it was flat so we got organized and met up with the girls from the Chicama Surf Team. Over the years we have spent lots of time with them and have come to love them and accept them as family. They decorated the lounge area at the hotel and made a welcoming cake for us. They are awesome.
Over the next couple of days leading up to our big event, we spent it with the girls, surfing and getting everything ready for the event. We also used that time to freak out about the storm and hope that our families made the right call of evacuating for Irma.
Because the waves were supposed to be big and pumping on contest day we decided to cancel it. Safety is always our number one policy and risking kids lives defeats our purpose. After it was all said and done we were able to have a beach cleanup for over 100 kids and a tasty BBQ for each of them. We also were able to push the kids in the white water so they could grab some waves. We made sure that each kid that showed up to all of our events had a cool take home prize from one of our amazing sponsors.
For this trip we had Crowd Control, Reef, Rogue Wave Surf Boutique, Nomad Surf Shop, Curms, Jungle Mamma Sunscreen, Susan & Michael Zellea @ Sue Z and Upbeat Customs, Bear Shark Action, Peter Glenn Sport in WPB, Ron Jon Surf School, Future 6 Helping Hand, Slater Designs, Firewire Surfboards, FCS, Chicama Surf Resort and Sticky Bumps.
Our highlights from the trip include surfing with the kids and watching the Chicama girls go above and beyond making us feel loved. One night they made us a giant bowl of ceviche. Another night they made us Chicha and brought chocolate. Chicha is this purple corn drink that you add cinnamon and cloves to. It is quite tasty. Another night they made us lomo saltado. The other highlight was catching pumping waves from the point to the hotel. If you know Chicama…that is a very long ride. We are running a Chicama raffle right now for a week stay at the resort. Click HERE to enter. It for sure is a dream trip. Thanks to everyone who made a difference for us so that we could make a difference for others. We are all in this together.
As for the hurricane…all we lost were a bunch of trees. Everything and everyone we love was safe. We are blessed. While we are fortunate that we came out unscathed some did not. Let us all send positive vibes and love in their direction during this sad time. Thanks for reading. We love you!