"My experience with the local kids is a day I will never forget. I literally was filled with so much pure happiness. The amount of joy these kids had from just simply playing in the water and learning how to surf was overwhelming. It reminded me that life can be so simple and joyful. I fell in love instantly and wanted to stay with them for so much longer! I do not speak Spanish so the communication was difficult. However, I quickly realized laughter and smiles are a universal language.” Kim Murphy, 42 years old- first time to El Salvador and now donates supplies for every future trip.
“We entered a local school in the middle of the nowhere on top of a volcano. The children, perfectly dressed in there blue and white uniforms, were waiting anxiously for our arrival. They immediately gave us hugs and a dance performance they had been practicing for months as a thank you for our visit. The school is rundown, with no electricity, dusty floors, with holes in the walls and ceilings. They have no running clean water and a huge lack of supplies from the government. Our team donated school books, water filters, and various supplies for the school and community. My heart was filled with joy when the head teacher told us how thankful all the students are and that we give them hope in life when we come to visit,” Karon Pardue, 45, President Project Save Our Surf.
It has been portrayed over and over again in our media, the negative stigma of traveling to El Salvador due to the historical 12-year Civil War, which resulted in years of political unrest, severe poverty and heavy gang violence. This year alone, the Peace Core decided to pull out of the country due to underlying issues and loads of civilians migrating to nearby countries. Over the years, I have traveled to El Salvador and under the this horrific stigma lies perfect waves, beautiful villages full of families and children who are kind, loving and in need. With the help of my El Salvadorian team, I have never experienced the negativity discussed so frequently, and I have been fortunate enough to meet some key locals who have helped me carefully design my trips to not only surf perfect waves, but to carefully immerse oneself in local villages and giveback to this uniquely gorgeous country.
The low-lying, uninhibited backdrop is covered in lush green vegetation surrounded by tall coconut trees rustling in the hard off-shore breeze. The smell of fresh sea salt fills the air as the bleach-coloured whitewater illuminated like fresh fallen snow off the crest of each wave freight training down the point. Every twenty minutes, the swell grew stronger and larger. From the bluff above, I could hear the ocean floor rumble beneath the surfers louder and louder as waves peeled from the top of the point to the inside of the bay. Our crew of talented surfers got extremely lucky, as this was the biggest swell to hit the entire Southern Hemisphere this year. While El Salvador is custom to large swells year round, what it wasn’t used to was a lineup full of colourful string bikinis, tone female bodies and a group of surfer girls that were visiting not only to surf, relax and to do yoga, but to get familiar with the local villages and truly giveback to the country of El Salvador.
LIVE, LEARN BE INSPIRED
I stand proudly by my motto, “Live, Learn, Be Inspired." Just like the swells we chase around the world, there is not one trip designed alike. Whether it is a ladies surf and yoga escape, or a teen giveback community project, they are all filled with endless surf, unique adventure excursions and a lot of local flavors. “Live" Just like the waves, every Surfari & Escape rotates locations. One year you might live in a gorgeous beach house overlooking one of the world’s most famous surf breaks. And the next, might be on a hidden gem of a beach surrounded by celebrities and history. I strive to secure exclusive locations where my Surfari teens and International escapes can allow surfers to blossom to their fullest. "Learn” to dance on the wild waves • Strike a pose while breathing deeply • Protect your heart with a hint of self-defense • Enter the soul with a meaningful meditation • Create new friendships through artwork, health and beauty. Each Surfari & Escape has something truly unique to offer. Learn to box with 2x World Champion, Maureen Shea. Hang ten with Endless Summer 2 star, Robert “Wingnut” Weaver. Educate oneself with a Project Save Our Surf art project or enjoy a guided meditation with Bent Wing Productions. I always have a set schedule planned but the joy of my programs are the adventures. You will never know which celebrity speaker will walk through the door next or what exciting excursion is planned. "Be Inspired,” gain new knowledge, build confidence, bond with new friends, and generate memories that will last a lifetime. Take a local company tours of California’s most successful businesses, like Patagonia or Channel Islands surfboards. Giveback by setting up water filters and donating supplies to families in a remote villages in need. My trips are set up to truly empower and to learn to let life’s beauty shine from within. Special thank you to AST Adventures (www.astadventures.com) & Project Save Our Surf http://projectsaveoursurf.org For more information: www.maryosbornesurf.com