I had a chance to help create a short video about WAVES and Lobitos a few years ago. My experience with everyone involved in the organization was nothing short of world class. The people at WAVES genuinely care about their mission, the kids, and continue to keep their long term vision in mind. It is the combined efforts of organizations like this around thew world that will slowly help plant educational seeds in the minds of the kids that will someday be running these communities.
Lobitos is an amazing place! Although it is just a small town situated in the desert, it is a magical place, capable of capturing the hearts of all those who visit. Our stay was limited to just over a week, but we immediately felt welcomed and the whole town knew who we were and why we were there within the first few days. The whole trip screamed adventure – from bungalow style rooms, to riding in the back of 'la bestia', to the viringo who became an instant friend and loyal companion. Not to mention, the children are amazing! Our time with Waves was very well spent, and we have been trying to coordinate another trip down there as soon as possible!
My experience in Lobitos with Waves for Development changed my life. Although the mission of the organization is to benefit the community (Lobitos) in which surf travel happens, it truly is a mutually beneficial relationship where I believe the volunteer becomes the most enriched in the end. I returned to the US with an appreciation for developing communities and an intense appreciation for my family. The enthusiasm and values of the people of Lobitos are completely admirable.
I volunteered in Peru in 2011 and this experience has completely changed my life. I feel like I received the most benefit from the experience than anything else. It is a total game-changer to travel to a third world village that seemingly has nothing and yet the people are perfectly content and unbelievably warm and hospitable to all of the volunteers. This experience gave me a new lease on life. I ultimately came home empowered and motivated to stop feeling sorry for myself and to make some changes within myself. Ever since my return. I've volunteered locally for the organization because I believe so passionately in its mission, but more so in the evolution volunteers experience within themselves. I wish everyone could experience my experience and I continue to sing it through the roof. I am forever grateful to this organization and they are hands down one of the best nonprofits.
I volunteered with WAVES three years ago in 2009. I am currently writing this in Lima at the beginning of hopefully a ten month stay with the charity. I think this stands as testament to the effect the place has on you. Once you have visited you do not forget it and will likely move mountains to get back!
Lobitos, Peru. Hotter than hell one minute, cold as the Pacific rushing into your wetsuit the next. Don't expect electricity or TP or even water enough to flush the toilet after every use. Buses may come, or you will be walking, and the unforgetable memory will not be what you experience as cuisine but the satisfaction of knowing what piping in a water supply for the Community Center toilet will mean for the kids going to school there. You can expect to clean a beach beneath a cliff full of blue-footed boobies, to meet some of the kindest, most generous, caring, heroic people of your life. Mostly you can expect this place to change you, to wash away the judgment you had on first sight of this town and leave a deep sense of joy at the privilege of having been of service there. Thanks you WAVES!
WAVES is an amazing organization that works in collaboration with the local community to create positive change and connection for people and the environment. The team is phenomenal and in addition to the awesome work they do with the community, they go all out to make sure their volunteers are having the best possible experience throughout their stay. I visited WAVES on my own the first time, and had such a great experience so I brought a group of students from my university back to volunteer again the following February. WAVES offers the perfect combination of volunteering, surfing, learning and fun!
My stay in Waves was pretty amazing. We did a participatory video and photography workshop. Waves provided us with our stay and food necesities. We... in exchange taught the kids working at the surf shop how to make a documentary and photograph different type of scenarios. We were there for two weeks and the results were amazing: a 12 minute doc speaking about life in Lobitos for kids of fishermen. Its a portrait of Lobitos life, a little bit of surf and a lot of fishing. This idea was impulsed by Waves who wanted to capacitate these kids with technology and give them another road for them to seek ways to auto sustain themselves. This is the basic idea behind any true help... dont give them fish but teach them how to fish kid of philosophy.
WAVES rocks! It really shows how well a good established organization can work together with a local community so that both benefit and advance their mission together! The people in Lobitos are really friendly and the kids are amazing! Amazing experience!!
WAVES exists to change people's lives for the better. I used to say that the volunteers probably get even more out of their service than the locals they work with (experiencing new cultures, broadening their view of the world, making socially minded career choices after...) However, now that WAVES and countless volunteers have been working year-in-year-out with some of the same young people and families for more than 5 years, the impact on their lives clearly rival that of the volunteers. I know, because I watch the accomplishments of many appear each day on Facebook. Oh, and surfing? Everyone loves surfing!