Reis Paluso is head of the Korduroy blog and recently accompanied Surf For Life in El Salvador to participate and document their efforts.
Alex Fang, founder of Surf for Life, noticed that many of the places he traveled to score waves had economies based on surf tourism. However, after talking with locals, he found that much of the money didn't cycle through the entire community. In response, he has worked to set up surf trips where guests have the opportunity to give back to the communities they travel to by taking part in developmental projects in between surf sessions.
After a successful fund-raising effort this past year, a great group was gathered for a special trip to build a school in El Cuco, El Salvador. Participants included professional surfer Holly Beck, shaper Danny Hess, writers Jaimal Yogis and Mark Lukach, artist Jay Nelson, photographers Erin Kunkel and Ward Robinson, UFC fighter Urijah Faber, travel journalists Sachi Cunningham and Zach Slobig, tech blog entrepreneur Brian Lam, and San Franpsycho clothing brand creator Andy Olive.
We experienced an idyllic trip, complete with a massive quiver of boards and handplanes, including 2 coffins full of gorgeous Danny Hess shapes, a great host at the Azul Surf Club, Lisette Perez, and a nice run of overhead south swell. Aside from the fun, we worked our butts off. But there is something about good old fashioned manual labor that really satisfies. And knowing that you are doing something that will impact a community not only now but for future generations as well, can help anyone power through that pile of dirt, to mixing cement, and stacking brick after brick until they resemble the walls of a classroom. The following video is a little visual summary of the fun.