This year, to celebrate International Surf Day on June 20, 2021, Bodhi Surf + Yoga held a fun fundraising event for our local community foundation, the Fundación SOMOS. Surfing is one of our passions and a large component of our livelihood. We felt it was fitting to utilize this activity to contribute to our community.
The first annual Surf-A-Thon was a great success: we raised USD $5,651 for the Stanford + SOMOS English Language and Environmental Leadership program (SELAL). This program benefits youth between 13-18 in our local communities and is greatly in need of funding in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
We invite you to read on and learn a bit more about the SELAL program. More importantly, even though the event is over for the year, you can still donate and contribute to this awesome program!
How did the Surf-A-Thon go?
To celebrate International Surf Day, a few of the Bodhi Surf + Yoga team members (Adrianne, Travis, Maya Paz, and Clea James) surfed together for one hour and each tried to catch and successfully ride as many waves as possible. Leading up to the event, each sponsor committed a set amount to donate per wave caught ($5, $10, $20, $50, $100). We were stoked to have smashed our goal of USD $3,000 by over two thousand dollars! And we are so proud to have diverted that money to the local community foundation, Fundación SOMOS, to support the SELAL program.
The conditions that day were challenging — so much so that Maya Paz and Clea James were unable to paddle all the way out, and even the grown-ups (Adrianne and Travis) commented on how difficult the paddle-out was. The waves were approximately 3-5 feet, and coming in relentlessly.
Maya and Clea stayed on the inside and excitedly caught as many waves as they could, just happy to be a part of something that combined what that they love, surfing and the beach, with a cause that they know is very important, fundraising for the community.
To be honest, this is exactly what was going through the minds of Adrianne and Travis as well. It was a physically-demanding session, and while neither may have stayed out as long as they did in such challenging conditions, both pushed themselves to catch as many waves as possible! (Note: that both needed to do their afternoon work sessions from a prone position in bed later that day).
Notable mention to the other event contributors:
- Anki and Felipe, our all-star videographers
- One of our guests who kindly played with Clea and Maya in the sand while the event was finishing
- The plethora of fish and rays who surfed alongside the competitors that day
Why did we hold our first annual Surf-A-Thon?
Bodhi Surf + Yoga is built on an ethos of social and environmental responsibility. We have the aspiration that our business can be the tool with which we forge a better world for ourselves, for each other, and for future generations. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic we haven’t been able to execute as many of our community-based programs as we were doing before.
There is a real crisis happening as a result of the pandemic: the Costa Rican public school system has been closed off and on for the better part of two years now, with no alternative provided for students. We decided to hold a fundraising event to help raise some of the very necessary economic resources to sponsor youth to participate in the year-long SELAL program — an alternative and experiential learning program.
The investment for one teenager to participate for a full year is USD $600. We raised enough funds for nearly 10 students, a total of USD $5,651.
More information about the recipient program, SELAL
SELAL’s mission is:
- To enable youth in Osa and Golfito to better access to employment within the local “green” economy.
- To enact place-based environmental awareness and action through principles of biodiversity and conservation, rural eco-tourism and community sustainable development, and connection and interaction with local environmental leaders.
SELAL takes place for two intensive weeks during vacation periods in January and July. Students participate in workshops, field trips, and presentations focused on leadership skills, environment and biodiversity conservation, ecotourism, and English. They also participate in activities during the school year.
Thank you for participating!
For Bodhi Surf + Yoga, surfing is about so much more than the act of riding waves. It’s a lifestyle that encompasses a deeper connection to what is important in this life: nature, community, self. It’s simple yet profound. We are so grateful for all of the tools that it has given us each personally, and are thrilled to be able to use surfing for a variety of higher purposes.
Bodhi Surf + Yoga and our community thank you!