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Who is WAVES?
WAVES for Development believes that surf travel should benefit the people and the communities where it happens.
WAVES creates life-enriching experiences in coastal communities through Education programs that develop youth into healthy & empowered adults and Surf Voluntourism programs that engage travelers & transform their views of the world and themselves.
The idea for WAVES originated on the beaches of northern Peru in late 2004, when a group of educated local and international surfers shared a desire to help local youth with little resources enjoy surfing. Over the course of the next 3 years, WAVES formed a network over 30 dedicated individuals, organizations, and institutions in 10 countries. In 2007 a shipping container of surfboards arrived from Global Surf Industries to be used in WAVES’ programming in Peru. After a two-week pilot program in February of 2008, WAVES launched full-time Surf Voluntourism and Educational Surf Programs in Lobitos, Peru that November.
WAVES for Development International is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt public charity registered in the state of New York. Additionally, WAVES for Development is a formalized not-for-profit association in Peru and Switzerland. WAVES for Development Peru signed an agreement with the Peruvian Sports Institute and the Peruvian Surfing Federation to bring Educational Surf and Surf Voluntourism programming to communities throughout Peru.
The WAVES acronym
Water – WAVES believes that access to and conservation of water is a necessity for the future of humanity. 1.1 billion people around the world suffer from inadequate access to clean water. Through adventure sports, WAVES’ participants develop a special relationship with this resource, one that is easily applied to conservation activities in their daily lives.
Adventure – WAVES believes adventure is more than just an adrenaline rush. By strapping on leashes and surfing, participants build confidence, stay healthy and foster meaningful relationships while enjoying the natural environment. Adventure sports typically have high entry costs. WAVES offers disadvantaged youth access to these sports, making adventure part of their personal and social development.
Voluntourism – Combining travelers’ passion for surfing with their desire to serve is possible with WAVES’ Adventure Voluntourism Tourism program. Volunteers contribute to community service activities while enjoying the adventure sports they love. In addition, these voluntourists provide surf communities and their youth with a source of intercultural exchange and camaraderie through their involvement in Educational Surf Programs.
Education – WAVES believes that knowledge is empowering. The future success of communities depends on today’s youth and the education they access. Nowhere is education more important than in the world’s poorest communities. WAVES helps coastal communities use their natural environment to create educational opportunities for youth, encouraging them to become confident, responsible leaders of tomorrow.
Sustainability – WAVES believes sustainability contains 4 aspects: ecological, social, political, and economic. Ecological sustainability is the use of, impacts on, and implications for the natural environment. Social sustainability is the initial community participation of the project, the impact on their culture and their willingness to carry it into the future. The political sustainability explores the politics of the destination and other accountability issues of the project. The economic sustainability explores the impact of the money that exchanges hands.