It’s testimonial time from our current volunteer, Sarah, who’s been enjoying life in Lobitos, Peru for the last 2 months! Sarah, a photographer, comes from California and is volunteering through Carpe Diem, a gap program focused on community, cultural immersion, service learning, and adventure.
Sarah has found it easy to immerse herself into the Lobitos lifestyle by helping out with photography classes, English lessons, learning to surf, editing surf videos for the local children and surfers, and more. We’re stoked that this thriving young woman is apart of our WAVES team and still has one more month left! Read more to see what Sarah has to say for herself about her experience volunteering with us in Lobitos, Peru.
Hi Sarah! Thanks for helping out with WAVES and sharing your experience today. Could you briefly describe what your life is like here in Lobitos?
In a word, life in Lobitos is tranquilo. It’s like you arrive on the other side of a broken time machine where there’s nothing to do and no time to do it all. I feel like I’ve found a place to clear my head and my former everyday problems became inconveniences in the grand scheme of things; the quiet magic of this place is kind of like a spell that teaches you how to chill out. It can be frustrating at times for people like me who grew up being told that there is a need to be constantly achieving something that’s always just out of reach. Being here makes you slow down, go scope the waves, watch the sunset – cultivate energy for things that I genuinely want to do. And enjoy.
What has been your favorite aspect of volunteering with WAVES so far?
I’ve really liked having a variety of things to get involved in with WAVES. At the moment, there are opportunities to help out with English, surf, and photography classes, along with some design work for upcoming projects. I’m here for the summer months which tends to be when things go very slowly due to school being out of session for the kids and the rain, so I’ve only gotten a taste of what WAVES does in other parts of the year.
Why was it you chose to volunteer with WAVES?
I chose to volunteer with WAVES after hearing about it from a close friend of mine. It sounded perfect: I wanted desert, I wanted surf, I wanted a strong sense of camaraderie among locals, I wanted a complex culture to dive into, I wanted art. Lobitos has been the place where I got all of that and everything else that I didn’t even dream of bargaining for.
Besides volunteering and surfing, what other activities can future volunteers expect to do while visiting Lobitos?
I’m just going to go ahead and list this one off: hammock naps, camping on the beach, visiting and exploring caves, photography, painting, drawing, playing music on a patio late into the warm desert night, watching spectacular sunsets, walking on the beach, swimming around and jumping off the pier, hanging out with locals (especially the kids!), learning how to cook traditional Peruvian cuisine, watching surf videos, dancing cumbia and salsa, listening to storytelling, going out on fishing excursions with the pescadores, getting tan, reading. In short: you will not be bored.
Based on what you’ve seen thus far in Lobitos, what kind of affect does WAVES have on the local community? How do you feel it is helping Lobitos grow?
WAVES is an NGO run by locals, for locals. The fact that it’s developed so close to home out of virtually nothing but desert sand and dedication, and that it calls for community involvement (especially with youth), is what I think might be part of what makes it so special. It’s showing that Lobitos isn’t just about the surf and that this place is a worthwhile stay for reasons that we still can’t explain. You just kind of have to experience it yourself.
What kind of impact has WAVES made on personally?
I’m so grateful I chose to come to Lobitos and work with WAVES at this point in my life! This experience has taught me so much about what I do (and don’t) want out of my internal growth and future travel experiences, and has reminded me that this is just the beginning of everything. There’s so much vastness in the desert and sky and sea here that reminds you of what could be if you just go out and get it, you know? Like a wave. You can watch the water all you want, but you’re never gonna catch that wave that you only ever dreamed of unless you grab your board and get in.