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Closing of "Surf Option: Surfing for Equality Festival”: new opportunities for children in Chocó
Photo: PO Foreign Ministry
13 October 2015/ Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia

From 9 to 12 October, on the beaches of Termales in the municipality of Nuquí, on the Pacific Coast of Chocó, 140 children, girls and boys between the ages of 7 and 18, members of the Chocó Surf Club, participated in motivational workshops, cultural activities and the practice of sports directed by the "Surf Option: Surfing for Equality Festival", a project sponsored by the Buen Punto Foundation and the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Festival, coordinated by the Chocó Surf Club, which is sponsored by the Buen Punto Foundation, enabled boys, girls and young people to increase their knowledge of beach safety, improve their technique and recognize this sport as an opportunity for personal and community development. In addition, the children participating in the Festival received the special visit of Peru’s Analí Gómez, world surfing champion, who shared her experiences with them and gave them tips on how to take the waves.

During the Festival’s closing workshop, the young surfer from Termales, Santiago Mosquera, declared, “Dreams come true if you are strongly motivated and count with the support of the right people. In that case, the sky is the limit.”

The goal of Surf Option was achieved through motivational workshops, education, health, gender equality and initiatives, all headed by special guests such as Nuquí’s own Josefina Kingler, CAFAM 2015 Woman of the Year, the American Dave Aabo, Director of Waves for Development, and Laura Borda, Director of Co School, a Colombian organization that works to improve the quality of contents in the country’s educational institutions.

During the Festival, Chocó Surf Club Director, Néstor Tello, and two young trainers from Termales and Partadó received the Level 1 Certificate granted by the International Surfing Association (ISA), which enabled them to increase their capacity as trainers in this sport and to be recognized in Colombia as CIA certified instructors. The course was conducted by Gustavo Corrales, ISA member, who in 2014 directed Costa Rica’s National Surfing Team.

Other activities included the photography workshop with cell phones conducted by the photojournalist from El Tiempo, Héctor Fabio Zamora, and the gastronomy workshop given by the expert from Coquí, Chocó, María Eugenia García, which were designed to invite parents to attend their children’s practice sessions and to take photos of them using their cell phones, and to promote the local gastronomy.

On the morning of Sunday, 11 October, international surfers Analí Gómez (Peru), Gustavo Corrales (Costa Rica) and Dave Aabo (United States), as well as the locals Néstor Tello and the promising Colombian Santiago Mosquera, showed their skills atop the waves of Cape Corrientes, a surfing site of international standing with the rich landscape of the Chocoana jungle as backdrop.

This initiative of the Buen Punto Foundation and the Executive Board of the Colombian National Commission for Cooperation with UNESCO, implemented with the Cultural Affairs Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was financed by UNESCO’s Participation Programme, counted with the support of the Colombian Presidential Agency for International Cooperation (APC-Colombia) and with the collaboration of the Mano Cambiada Corporation, Co School, the Waves for Development Foundation, the International Surfing Association (ISA) and Nuquí’s Town Council.

During 2015, the UNESCO Participation Programme has also sponsored in Colombia projects such as the Tenth International Meeting of Traditional Midwives, the Binational Tricolour Colombia-Ecuador Concert, and the Regional Seminar for the Prevention of the Illicit Trafficking of Documentary Heritage in Ibero-America.

The National Commission for Cooperation with UNESCO is chaired by the Minister of Foreign Relations, María Ángela Holguín Cuellar, and its Executive Board is directed by the Ministry’s Department of Cultural Affairs. Other participating bodies include the Ministry of National Education, the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of the Information and Communication Sciences, the Administrative Department of Science, Technology and Innovation (COLCIENCIAS) and the Colombian Presidential Agency for International Cooperation (APC-Colombia).

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