June 2012 me, my boyfriend and daughter took the 30 hour, 4 plane flight to get to Lobitos, Peru. We stayed for a month to surf and volunteer with an NGO called Waves for Development that is based in the rural village. Waves for Development was set up to support the poor community in Lobitos by providing staff to the school for environmental studies and English; providing jobs for local people and providing support for local kids to get into surfing, work in the surf shop and get skilled in media to sell surf photos to tourists. We went there as volunteers so we helped everyday with English classes, youth work, building work and surf board repair. There is lots of oil in Lobitos but the money is corrupted away from the local people who would benefit from support in education, nutrition and other health issues such as contraception.
After an initial acclimatisation from living in Scotland to the desert of Peru we were ready to surf! It was all left hand breaks where we were staying and we scored chest to head and a half waves everyday. The point in Lobitos runs 200m from a rocky take off down the beach, there was 3 barrelling sections, Picinas has a gnarley barrelling and rocky take off and runs about 150m down the north section of the beach, from the pier runs a barrel and you get nailed or stoked and we also surfed Baterias a beautiful point break with barrelling sections to the South of Lobitos. I wore my Circle One 3’2 for most surfs, it’s a great flexible wetsuit with nice graphics, I was proud to be wearing and representing UK products overseas. I also wore boardies and the ‘Diva’ thermal rashvest when it was a hot day. The rashvest was a great fit and stayed in place and it was so good to be that flexible and still warm, not something that I can do in Scotland.
The womens Rip Curl/ Movistar 6 star event will take place in Lobitos on July 24-28. Some of the pros had started arriving towards the end of our trip so it was inspiring to be in the water with them. There is only one girl involved with the Waves for development surf team so I organised a ‘Dia de surf solo para chicas’ a girls surfing day which Peruvian surf star Anali Gomez help to instruct. It was a big success and 7 girls came back the next day asking for more surf sessions.
It was an amazing way to travel and to really get involved with the local community and give something back to the place we were staying.