Costa Rica Surf School "Making a Difference" Through Action

January 09, 2011 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel News
Bodhi Surf, a Costa Rica surf camp, received the January 2011 "Making a Difference" award from - a website launched by the Rainforest Alliance that promotes sustainable tourism businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean to travelers, tour operators, and travel agencies. Each month the editors of select a tourism business that makes outstanding efforts in environmental conservation and contributes to the well-being of its local community. As communicated by Dipika Chawla from the Communications, Education & Marketing Division at Rainforest Alliance, "Bodhi Surf School stood out for its excellent community service programs and spirit of social responsibility."

"As a local leader in surfing-based tourism we have a responsibility to lead by example and help keep Bahia Ballena - Uvita a beautiful and safe place that we can all enjoy, locals and tourists alike", says Bodhi Surf founder Travis Bays.

Throughout 2010 Bodhi Surf organized, participated in, and supported projects involving local youth, environmental education, technology, and sustainable development. Notable projects included:

Grupo SURF, a community-based organization that seeks to empower local youth as agents of change. In September of 2010 Bodhi Surf, along with KETO Foundation Costa Rica, Bahia Aventuras, and La Cusinga Lodge helped Grupo SURF organize local youth as part of the International Coastal Cleanup Day. Currently, the group is involved in a GPS - GIS trash mapping project with the goal to better understand their community's trash problems and provide lasting solutions.

A community recycling program initiated by Bahia Aventuras and Bodhi Surf. Glass, aluminum, plastic, and paper garbage are separated. The materials are donated to the local elementary school who then sells the materials to different companies. The money earned by the school is invested in various school-based projects.

GPS - GIS trainings for boat tour operators, youth, and community members. Bahia Aventuras and Bodhi Surf School hosted and helped facilitate GPS - GIS workshops, part of a project led by Holbrook Education, GISETC, and La Cusinga Lodge that aims to help the community identify and understand the resources available within their community.

Triple Bottom Line - Planet, People, Profit, a project in which University of Denver Professional MBA students along with members of Bodhi Surf and Bahia Aventuras worked together to help local boat tour operator, Bahia Aventuras, analyze, develop, and execute a sustainable business plan that takes into account the planet, people, and profit.

Despite Bodhi Surf's contributions in 2010, Bays states, "It's great to be recognized but we're just getting started, we expect to have a greater impact in 2011".

The company's commitment to environmental conservation and social responsibility is rooted in its founders who consider their venture more than just a business — they refer to it as their "life project".

Conditions in and around Uvita are ideal for accommodating special interest groups made up of students, researchers, or professionals who have a definitive motive, such as education, conservation, scientific research, team building, or other activities that are suited for the outdoors. Likewise, individuals, families, and small groups seeking a sustainable and unique travel experience will find the Costa Ballena region of Costa Rica to be a beautiful location that is well-suited for creating memorable experiences.

Bodhi Surf specializes in custom packages for special interest groups and offers its standard surfing and yoga vacations for individuals, families, and small groups. Guests who visit Uvita, Costa Rica with Bodhi Surf are treated to more than just a surfing vacation.