The last few years have seen Colombian successes in all kinds of different sports, perhaps surfing will provide the country’s next world champion
Friday Oct 9th sees the start of Fundación Buen Punto’s third annual surf tournament in the tiny remote village of Termales in Nuquí, Chocó as part of a surf festival that is attracting guests from all over Colombia and Latin America.
Until a few years ago, participating in the sport was a tough task for Termales residents.
But for over two and a half years a charity called Fundación Buen Punto has been bringing sporting and educational opportunities to this isolated and impoverished region. They set up the Club de Surf del Chocó and – thanks to hard work and donations – have provided surfing equipment and training to the community. Having recently expanded from its base in Termales to nearby Arusí, the foundation now offers classes to 120 young surfers on a weekly basis.
Australian national and Bogotá resident Ryan Butta set up the foundation in February 2013 after he was inspired while on holiday in the region. Now they are hosting the four-day surfing festival “to promote equality and new opportunities for the young surfers of Nuquí”.
The foundation has already sent representatives from Chocó to the national surfing championships for the first time, but the event is about more than sport.
As well as surfing lessons, workshops conducted over the four days will include health and hygiene, entrepreneurship, and sport as a tool for social inclusion.
International Surfing Association (ISA) female world champion Anali Gomez, from Peru, will be in attendance, while Costa Rican ISA instructor Gustavo Corrales is heading down to certify three of the club’s trainers. US national Dave Aabo, from the Waves for Development Program that operates in Peru, will also be there to find out what the fuss is about.
“Apart from the surfing there will be lots of opportunities to participate and experience the local culture,” says Butta.
The surf festival will also host Cine Bajo las Estrellas (cinema under the stars) each evening, giving the local kids their “first chance to go to the movies”, according to the Australian.
Check out how the festival went and find a full profile of the foundation in November’s Bogotá Post.
To donate to Fundación Buen Punto visit www.clubdesurfdelchoco.com
Photos: Club de Surf del Chocó
By Olly West