Pura Vida Chicas

Home for a day now and what a whirlwind! This past stoke mission was to Costa Rica. Last July a gentleman that we partnered with in 2013 asked us to do an impact trip to a different place in Costa Rica with a new group. Having worked with him in the past we were stoked to do it. We organized with the leader of the group and we booked our tickets about three or four months before the trip. As time passed the trip grew closer and closer and I reached out to the organizer about a week before the trip asking for details. Long story short…she mentioned that she is no longer running the organization and it has closed. My first instinct was anger at the fact that we now had very few days to organize something else while we are there. It is always our first priority to keep our commitments with our sponsors so we needed to find a different group to make an impact with. I remembered back to 2015 when we worked with Chicas Con Proposito in Dominical. I reached out to Jeanine, co-founder of the group and told her our circumstances and asked if she would be able to organize something in such short notice with her girls. Thankfully she was so eager to help. We were grateful.

My partner for this trip was Matthew, STSF extraordinaire. Before the trip he and I brainstormed potential sponsors for this epic adventure and ended up finding some great ones. We had Southern Coast Enterprises, Bruce Celinski and Brendan Leen. Southern Coast Enterprises are known for their craftsmanship in roofing and waterproofing with competitive prices and are based in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Bruce Celinski is a Fort Lauderdale architect that specializes in high-end custom homes and commercial projects for private clients and quality builders.  Brendan Leen is a local life guard based in Boca Raton who believes in our mission. With their support as well as Jetblue jumping on board with free transport of the surfboards,we were able to make a bunch of children happy.

Matthew and I arrived in Costa and spent a horrendous two hours getting through immigration and renting a car. After an hour drive we finally made it to some beautiful country scenery. Finally, I felt like I could relax. We arrived just at dark to Mavi Surf Hotel, which Jeanine had set us up at. They have been close friends and took complete care of us at their hotel. Mavi Surf Hotel is probably the cleanest hotel I have been in and I have spent a lot of time traveling and seeing lots of lodging options. They are also a short walk to open barrels galore.  Aside from the epic hotel…Max and Barbara (the owners) were so nice and wanted to make our stay amazing. Every request we had they would always come through. Max even shreds in the water and we got several sessions in together.IMG_7103IMG_7105

The second day in Costa we surfed in the morning and scored perfect offshore barrels with some size. We were so happy! After checking the swell charts and talking to the locals we decided to take our chances on Pavones since we had a few days before the event. We got there and surfed some overhead nuggets that had a little wind on it. The next morning we surfed Pavones sister and had so much fun.FullSizeRenderIMG_7140IMG_7158 I actually got my chancletas stolen on the beach and I was bummed until I really thought about it. I thought…jeez if you have to take someones shoes you probably really need them. I figured they needed them worse than me. I proceeded to go barefoot for the next four days until I borrowed Matthews for the flight home. Makes you appreciate shoes…especially if you have ginger feet like me.

The next few days we spent surfing and heading back to our beloved Mavi Hotel. Saturday came and we made our way over to Dominicalito for the project. We rolled up and soon after all the chicas started showing up. I recalled their faces from the last time we were with them. These girls are super timid and not very reluctant to give you their trust. I remembered some of their stories and understand why. After a bit they warmed up to us. IMG_7184IMG_7202IMG_7222 Next the girls hit the water. I really couldn’t believe how much they have improved. The girls are standing up on almost every wave. I saw a few of them paddle into the waves themselves and catch and ride them. That always makes us so happy. We ended up donating some of the boards to the chicas and then also finding a few boys to give them to. We actually went to their houses to find them and make the donations. It was pretty fun watching the reactions. One kid was super stoked just smiling ear to ear and one kid seemed like we just told him his cat died. The other donation went to a set of three brothers who couldn’t stop smiling. It was great.IMG_7395IMG_7428The next day we headed to the airport bright and early and made our way back to South Florida. Without the support of Jetbue, Southern Coast Enterprises, Bruce Celinski, Mavi Hotel, Dominical WaveRider and Brendan Leen we would not have been able to make the impact we did. Thanks to all of those generous supporters who help us keep stoking out children all over the globe.  Remember if you would like to help us keep kids off the street you can make a donation HERE.

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Doing Good In Dominical

Well our 2016 stoke season is officially kicked off. This past week we spent time in Dominical, Costa Rica with a great group of female surfers.  We love going to Costa Rica for several reasons.  First, it is very close for us and easy to get to.  Two, the people there are amazing. Three, the ceviche is to die for:)  Four, the waves are good!  We could go on but we won’t.  IMG_3328IMG_3325

Three years ago we donated some surfboards there through a local surf camp owner, Jeanine Haddid of Dominical Waverider. Since then we have stayed in contact and have had regular updates on the kids we stoked out before. Last year, a local girl from Domincalito named Claudi Schulz Sonco asked Debbie Zec and later on Jeanine Haddad for help in starting a girls surf “project”. So in May of 2015 the three women vowed to help the young girls in the town learn to surf. So Chicas Con Proposito (Girls With Purpose) was born and instantly there was a group for the girls to attend and to experience surfing.12068603_1645651232360272_313020558485879480_oAt first they started out with five girls but word quickly spread and now they have up to 25 girls who regularly attend the sessions. When speaking to Jeanine I asked her what she hopes to accomplish with the girls and she said that the goal is to have them surf, to do better things in their life and to give them an outlet.

On the day we got to meet up with the chicas we had laid down the Firewire Surfboards, complete with FCS fins and Sticky Bumps Wax and while I was filming I was watching out of one eye how the girls reacted to seeing the new surfboards and it was really neat to see how excited they got.FullSizeRender copy They all leaned down over them and touched them. For me too, the feel of a new surfboard without wax is something special. There was no hiding how they felt based on their smiles and how giddy they were. This is the moment of what we live for. But even more than the excitement of a brand new board, what this brand new board represents is unfathomable for most. For us a surfboard represents life. It represents endless possibilities. It can be a vehicle to find out who you really are. Surfing can be that beginning to the life you always wanted. THAT my friend is why Share The Stoke Foundation exists. We are that vehicle for these children.FullSizeRender copy 2

We would like to send out a special thanks to Vivian at Domilocos for seeing the value in Chicas Con Proposito and taking great care of us with lodging. If you are looking for a great place to stay in Dominical check it out. It is right next to the beach, clean and has air conditioning.

Massive thanks to Claudia for being a positive light in a world that sometimes needs to be brightened up. We are grateful that she had the confidence to stand up and say I can make a difference and she did. We are stoked to know you!FullSizeRender_1