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Coastal communities' proximity to surfable waves combined with the current enthusiasm for surfing among today's youth represents a great opportunity for developing tomorrow's community leaders.

Surf tourism that cultivates & inspires local communities through 3 main program areas:

Community Outreach

Overview: Empower community members, youth in particular, to pursue education activities so they live healthy lives and set career goals.


Environmental Health

Overview: Empower community members in Peru to create a health-supportive environment through awareness and action.


Entrepreneurship Empowerment

Overview: Mentor community members without access to financial services and business guidance, to generate economic activity through socially minded micro-enterprises.

Participatory community analysis has directed programming to take advantage of opportunities that address community needs. The approach includes conversations and  formal interviews with youth, community members, the school Director and local government officials.

WAVES for Development offers coastal communities innovative and holistic programs that include surfing resources for meeting community development goals and reducing poverty.  We look for and start with unmet educational needs and unrealized surf tourism potential.

By offering educational surf programs, at-risk youth develop healthy physical activity habits outside of the classroom, gain an appreciation for the natural environment, and acquire skills useful for life while building confidence and having fun.  Pursuing their own, individual ‘educational careers’ is an important driver of programs. The beneficiaries of our programs include Peruvian youth, local partner organizations in coastal communities and international travelers.

Ongoing Education Program landscape:
– WAVES employs local Peruvian teachers to work in the Lobitos Primary school to complement the available funding and resources of the Government funded school. Ongoing English and Environment classes, funded by WAVES enable local students to study these subjects which would otherwise not be provided. WAVES has also attracted longer term interns to run Sports Classes in the Primary and High School.
– WAVES has had Surf Instructors onsite to provide weekly Surf Classes to local youth free of charge, including Girl’s only Surf Classes.  These classes range in content from swimming lessons, water safety, the beach environment, local hazards, surfing equipment, paddling, surfing technique and surfing practice in the water. Surfboards, wetsuits and other equipment are all provided to the girls by WAVES.

Volunteers plug into various aspects of these activitiess, assisting the teachers in the schools and with the Community Surf Centre. Without volunteers these classes will continue, ensuring a commitment WAVES has made to the community.  However, the involvement of volunteers makes the experience more rewarding for students, volunteers and teachers alike, and your contributions are invaluable to ensure delivery of the classes.

Additional Surf Voluntourism Activities (often volunteer developed and managed with WAVES assistance):
– WAVES holds regular Beach Clean Ups as part of the environmental conservation curriculum, and offers other activities when the resources and needs arise. Often they are developed in conjunction with Volunteer’s skills, interest and experience. Previous and ongoing examples include Construction ProjectsMicro CreditSurf PhotographyComputer Classes (for the teachers), Small Business StudiesDance ClassesArtisan WorkshopsYogaHealth ClinicsSurf / Skate Competitions and Art Classes.

WAVES has also funded  the ongoing further (accredited) education of selected youth in Surf Instruction and Culinary Studies. Surf and educational trips to other locations in Peru by youth and staff who have demonstrated commitment to the program have also been undertaken. Thee destinations include Tumbes, Chicama and Canchaque.

All of these programs are funded and assisted by our volunteers and their fundraising efforts.  Programs in Lobitos are coordinated by a mix of local Peruvian and international staff, including a Chief Technical Advisor, an Administration Manager, a Project Managers, Instructors and Technical Specialists.

Check out the swell report for Lobitos, by clicking on “Lobitos Site” page in the upper left ‘Also in this section’ box.

This post is also available in: French, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazil)