Sustainability + Surfing + You = :)
Organized by: Isabella Frederick
Hello and welcome!
I've been offered a three month internship to volunteer with Project Wave of Optimism (Project WOO/Ola de Optimismo), in Playa Gigante, Nicaragua. Since 2006, Project WOO has been working with Gigante to ensure that surf tourism and the development it brings benefits the whole community. WOO works with Gigante locals to facilitate strategic thinking about potential improvements while providing opportunities for cultural exchange between locals and tourists.
Playa Gigante is a small fishing village on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua. The majority of the 200 families that call it home are living at poverty level, with the health, social and educational disadvantages that this often brings. But Gigante is a fast changing community, as surf tourism has consistently increased over the years. While tourism can bring in much needed money and business opportunities, it also presents challenges and problems that can threaten a poor community like Gigante. In similar communities undergoing such fast development we have seen overdevelopment, displacement of local residents, insufficient structure to handle excess waste, and many other issues arise.
My volunteer role at Project WOO will be living in the community and supporting their current programs. All of these programs were identified by and are supported and led by local residents.
• The WOO School Bus provides the only public transport in and out of Gigante. The bus transports local youth to high school in Tola. Gigante saw an 80% increase in school attendance when the bus project began.
• The Gigante Community Health Center, where WOO employs two local women and supports the development of community led, public health programs.
• The Gigante Youth Club, empowers local teens to be engaged in the community development process through a variety of opportunities and activities.
• The WOOster Surf Club teaches local youth how to surf and allows them the opportunity to participate in our ‘Earn a Board’ program.
• The Gigante Immersion Experience supports volunteers who want to live with local families, offering an in depth cultural exchange while providing a small income to the participating families.
• Gigante English Program provides a full time English teacher for the local school and for adults in Gigante, increasing their opportunities for employment and business in the growing tourism market.
Project WOO is a 501c3 organization, and all donations are tax deductible!
I am really looking forward to this experience. I (and Project WOO) want to personally thank you for your support. Please feel free to contact me with any questions, or Project WOO directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you so so much; I'm looking forward to sharing my experience during and after my time in Gigante! You can follow my travels at avocadoskies.tumblr.com.
Thank you thank you thank you!