Giving Back with Open Hearts: Wild Wahini Surf + Olas Para Todos

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Giving Back with Open Hearts: Wild Wahini Surf + Olas Para Todos

One of the reasons I love Puerto Viejo so much is because of the commUNITY here. I first met Nathalie as a photographer. The images she captures are breathtaking. I actually had a photo session with her and fell in love with each and every photo. Years later, we have bonded over surfing and being a part of our community. Nathalie created Wild Wahini Surf School with partner, Ana, in efforts to teach children in the area about surfing, conservation, nature, and being conscious. Wild Wahini Surf hosts surf days and teaches kids of all ages how to be one with the ocean and catch waves. These days also consist of beach yoga, meditation and environmental education. One of the efforts I love so much is that Wild Wahini works to promote young girls' confidence while surfing. It is tough being a female surfer! I am so in love with this initiative. 

Olas Para Todos is also Nathalie's creation. It is a branch of Wild Wahini Surf School and is more focused towards protecting the environment. She hosts tons of beach clean ups, works to get the community involved, as well as shares information on sustainability and ways to be eco-friendly. 

TuCamino Travel loves working with these women and encourage you to volunteer if you are in the area. Check out our interview with Nathalie Vigia:

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-Tell me a little bit about yourself and the inspiration behind Wild Wahini Surf School/Olas Para Todos

Originally from Switzerland, I have been in Costa Rica since 2010. My great passion is travel and surfing and I've always been concerned with nature and environmental aspects.
For me surfing is a powerful activity that can impact people and above all impact kids, so i really believe surfing is something more than just catching waves… for me it is a matter of respect. That's why we started this project: to make a small change, share experiences and knowledge.
 

Kids and surf are my inspiration; believing in a better future and giving them more opportunity to grow and keep on dreaming. 
Being that there are not many chances for local kids and girls to surf and learn, we wanted to try and offer something different. With the help of Wild Wahini, we could start to offer some lessons and surf camps in the area.

I also realized, while traveling in Costa Rica and living here in Puerto Viejo, that there is so much we can do regarding environmental education. For example, keeping beaches clean and creating green initiatives. This really inspired me to combine surf lessons with education and games to make kids more conscious about nature and how to keep it clean and respect it.
 

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-What is the mission of Olas Para Todos? 

This project, which combines environmental education and surfing, is a way for me to spread awareness about the importance of what it means to keep the beaches clean as well as what everyone can do to help. It is essential for every surfer to be aware and take care of the ocean and the beach. It's so important that we can teach kids how to surf but also the true "surf philosophy" behind this sport. 

There is also a part of this project we dedicate to supporting young people, especially girls, to help them reduce anxiety and improve confidence through surfing. To push them and give them an opportunity. 

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-What is the most difficult part of running your own business? 

Olas Para Todos wants to be a local, non-profit organization. The most difficult part is finding help and feedback from people and finding help and collaborations around the country. We always have amazing people helping but to keep this project constant and active all year long we would need more “help” and support. We need a great team in town that would keep on going with the project.

Then of course, sometimes the hard part is to find the time to develop more activities and things to do seeing that this is not our main “work”. We need to find a good balance between work and this project. 

 

-What advice can you give to female entrepreneurs? 

Don't be scared and be confident in what you do! Because if you do it with your heart, I'm sure you can do it. Be honest with yourself and keep on trying and dreaming.

“Yes we can” is really the “motto” and it is what I would say to any girl that wants to follow her dreams.

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-What is the best part of what you do? 

Inspiration, motivation and seeing that change is possible. Seeing children with a big smile on their face when they catch a wave and seeing them so tired but happy. When they ask you “when can we do it again?”

The best part is when I see an improvement and they get more confident in the water and outside. When I get ready for the lesson and kids arrive with all the garbage they found on the beach and say “teacher look what we have found”.

-What is a happy day for you? 

A happy day is waking up early in the morning, making a fresh “batido”, and starting my day with some stretching while looking out at the beautiful nature. The next step, of course, is going to see the ocean and the waves with my dog. Then, spending hours in the water catching waves and having fun with people around.

This is how an ideal happy day starts for me : Recharging my energies with the ocean, improving every day inside and outside the water, and learning something new and inspirational.

But a happy day is everyday and everywhere because every time i wake up, I appreciate and give thanks for what i have and this instantly puts me in the mindset of having an amazing, happy day.

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Reading these answers, completely moved my soul and we only want to do more with organizations like Wild Wahini Surf School and Olas Para Todos. These women have such big hearts and we are so moved by them and their work. In a way, we all have an active part in teaching the younger generations how to be conscious, aware adults. It is also up to us to take care of and protect the environment. If you or anyone you know is interested in donating, collaborating, or volunteering with these two organizations, contact Nathalie Vigia at nativigia@hotmail.com or check out their FB page.

Thank you Nathalie and Ana for all that you do for our commUNITY. We love you!

Pura Vida, 

TuCamino Travel

 

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WHY Travel with Us?

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WHY Travel with Us?

Alia, Dexter, Kyle, Danielle, Trey, Avani, Andrew, Hannah, Zaida, Joel, Skye, Gato, Nena. What do all these names have in common? 
One word. 
H E A R T. 

I created TuCamino Travel a year and a half ago because of my true love for Costa Rica and Mexico. 
 

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Costa Rica: For 8 years, I have known this country. "Pura Vida" is a real thing. Living a simple, peaceful life can be a reality. Costa Rica is my peace. Surfing is my passion. Travel helped me to realize this. 

Mexico: My roots are here. My culture is beautiful, colorful, and full of life. Mexico is so big and unique yet so small and connected. I couldn't create TuCamino Travel without the "buena onda" of Mexico.
 


From the beginning, I set my intention on finding the BEST people to work with. I can honestly say, I found them or rather, they found me.  At TuCamino Travel, we have heart. We only work with those who share our passions. Surfers, artists, creators, yogis, nature enthusiasts, lovers, peace makers, environmentalists, community involvers, social workers, entrepreneurs, travelers, wanderlusters. These are just a few words to describe us.  

If YOU choose to travel to unique destinations like Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica or Sayulita, Mexico, you will have a wonderful trip.
However, 
if YOU choose to travel to these destinations with TuCamino Travel, you will have an e x p e r i e n c e. 

One which will stay with you forever. Why? Because we ALL love what we do. We have passion. We believe. We dedicate ourselves to providing you with a once in a life time experience. We believe in showing you our paradise and without a doubt, we have heart. 

On behalf of all the kick ass staff at TuCamino Travel, 
we hope to see you in paradise!

Pura Vida, 
Nena & TuCamino Travel

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A Pineapple a Day...

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A Pineapple a Day...

Happy Friday! Summer is here and that means tropical fruit! Our chef, Alia Kahan, wrote out a simple, yummy pineapple recipe for you to enjoy. Check it out: 

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When you visit Costa Rica, you are immersed in a rich density of living things — from people to plants to creatures — that is almost overwhelmingly abundant; the food is no exception! Simple, fresh, nutritious meals are the mainstay here and perhaps that’s why Costa Ricans are categorized as some of the happiest, longest-living people on the planet.

While you probably already have a multitude of favorite recipes for the juicy flesh of the pineapple, what do you with the core? It’s still fragrant and sweet, but the tough core isn’t pleasant to munch on. It can be blended, added to sangria or used to make a broth for seafood stew or South-East Asian soups, but we prefer a fresh and simple slaw. 

Caribbean Pineapple Core Slaw

Prep time: 10 minutes

Serves 4

 

Ingredients:

1 Pineapple Core

¼ Head Green Cabbage

¼ Head Red Cabbage

1 Red Bell Pepper

1 Bunch Cilantro

1 Red Onion

1 tbsp. Natural Sea Salt

1 tbsp. Black Pepper

1 tsp. Ground Jamaica Pepper (Allspice)

¼ Cup Coconut Cream

1 Lime

 

Method:

Finely slice the cabbage and massage with the sea salt. Set aside. (This will help to break down the cabbage, making it more digestible and nutritious). 

Grate the pineapple core using the large-holed side of a cheese grater or a mandolin with a julienne blade (if using the latter, go slow and protect your finger tips!). Thinly slice the red onion and bell pepper and add to grated pineapple. 

In a separate bowl, add the coconut cream and stir in the cilantro, roughly chopped, along with the spices. Gradually whip in the juice of the lime. 

Stir the creamy coconut sauce into to the cabbage, then add the pineapple mix. Toss all together thoroughly and enjoy!

Enjoy the sunshine, 

TuCamino Travel 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Akela Surf

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Akela Surf

We are stoked to announce that TuCamino Travel is now working with Akela Surf. The word "akela" means happy in Hawaiian. This company works to share the spirit of surfing through fashion and healthy living as well as having a great appreciation for nature and the active lifestyle. We caught up with Annie from the Akela Surf Fam to learn more.

1. Where did the idea for Akela Surf come from? 

I started working in the fashion industry 15 years ago as a sportswear designer knowing that I wanted to have my own brand and eventually, I created Akela Surf.  

I'm not the typical girly girl that likes pink. I realized that I'm not the only girl feeling this way! When I started to surf, I didn't find any swimwear that suited my personal style and also that stayed on in wipe outs! I saw an opportunity to offer something cool and different! Having a style in the line up! Why not!?

A few years ago, I started Akela Surf with my partner, Servio. I was out of work and Servio was studying Business. We shared some ideas that soon turned into hand made products, like skateboard tee's, rashguards, ect. Then, we decided to turn Akela into a female line and concentrate specifically on swimwear. It is just us running the business, so we decided to focus on our strengths and the demand! 

Servio, is the best partner because he always pushes you to the limit! Our ultimate goal is to offer products that will reflect our personality! We work in collaboration with many artists and ambassadors! It's important for us to listen and create a feeling!! Akela Surf is more than products, it's a community and a way of living!

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2. Who/what inspires you?

I get inspired from fashion shows. I keep myself updated with the fashion industry as well as have my favorite mags and designers that I follow pretty closely...but that's my secret ;) I travel also a couples times a year! When you travel you don't have the same mind set. Everything turns into an inspiration! 

3. What gets you out of bed in the morning? 

My son, lol! Surfing when I'm near the sea, my business, and Servio always preparing me some fresh coffee and juice! I never sleep past 7 am....

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4. What is the biggest challenge of running your own business? 

Everyday you have a new challenge! It's hard to predict what can happen! Having enough money to support my family, doing all the taxes..lol, but mostly finding reliable peoples to work with..

So many people want a part of your business but they don't realize how much hard work and time you have to spend on your business. So far, its definitely my biggest challenge in life but also my best!! 

5. What advice can you give to other entrepreneurs? What advice to other water men and women? 

I believe if you are or want to be an entrepreneur, you have to listen your instincts first. It's a really hard game!! There are so many cool brands out there now, but if it's truly your passion, there is no reason to not succeed! You have to do it for the right reasons. I personally do it because of how much I love design, surfing, taking pictures, traveling..I couldn't ask for a better life! 

*Also, you cannot be afraid of losing ..and winning! You have to look at what you have done right , the positive part and not the negative part!!

*If you love the water, please try to respect it!! Its so sad to see all the trash in the water..

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6. What are your passions? What can you not live without? 

Surf, fashion, photography, cooking healthy meals, traveling! 

I cannot live without my family! The sea and the sun ! :)

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Akela Surf is a loving community created by Annie and Servio, which draws inspiration from fashion, surf, and the ocean. We hope you check them out and we are honored to be surf ambassadors for them. Pura Vida!

Xo,

TuCamino Travel 

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A Smile Can Lead to a Million Things: Mary Ralph Lawson

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A Smile Can Lead to a Million Things: Mary Ralph Lawson

I met this inspirational young woman the other day on Lake Travis in Austin, Texas. As I am here for a couple months this summer, I thought it was time to get outside on the lake and try wake surfing. Everyone is talking about and getting excited for NLand Surf Park to open (North America's first public wave park...Kelly Slater's wave is private ;)). Due to not having waves until the park is ready, this was the next best option. 

A group of us went out on a friend's boat (Thanks Baylie <3) and stayed on the lake until dark. It was such a relief to be in the water again! While on the boat, I met Mary Ralph Lawson and was immediately drawn to her happy and positive attitude. We started talking surf, travel, California, and Costa Rica and a few days later, I had a follow up interview with her. Mary Ralph is a fun-loving mermaid who seeks adventure and wakes up with smile on her face. She is such a great reminder that we can choose to be happy, we can choose to smile. Here is more with Mary Ralph Lawson: 

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-Tell me a little about yourself and your passions.

I am an Austin girl, born and raised, and a Malibu based (sometimes ha!). I have always loved anything to do with the outdoors and the water and I am always up for the newest adventure and choose to have a good time. I have traveled to many countries and love all the possibilities that traveling brings. My quote, that you can see on my Instagram bio and on some of my apparel says, "Cheers to the amazing adventures and all the beautiful people and places you meet along the way". I really believe that a simple smile could lead to a million things, and the answer "yes" can take you anywhere you want to go. My life motto is smile and say yes, and you will go far.

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-What is the mission of mralphlawson.com and where do you see yourself in the future? 

The mission of my website is have a platform to say more than the Instagram limit of a caption or a single photo. Within my website, I have a blog, where I open up about my self. You can read about anything from my love and belief in Jesus Christ to the ways I'm not perfect as well as other topics like the latest fashion trends I'm loving, or the places and things I want to do. Also, on my website I have an online store where i sell jewelry, apparel, etc. In the future, I see myself living on an island or next to the ocean, owning my own store, and hopefully traveling the world as a living.

-What gets you out of bed every morning? 

The sunshine that is peering through my windows, the endless possibilities a new day can bring, the comfort in the fact that yesterday is over, and the truth that the best is yet to come. 

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-What is the BEST advice you have ever received? 

...a smile can lead to million things. 

...always cheers to the trains you missed, because they led you here to this. 

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-What is some advice you can give to young women pursuing their dreams? 

I say go for it. Smile and say yes. Your path might be windy and overgrown, but God has a plan for you better than you can ever imagine. I say pursue your dreams, work hard, and have fun. If you can dream it, you can do it. It's true. I'm 19 and have done things I am so proud of and lucky to have accomplished at such a young age, and it is because I set my mind to it and did not take no as an answer. 

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For more on Mary Ralph, check out her website and Instagram

A little inspiration for your Monday! :) 

Pura Vida, 

TuCamino Travel 

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