“We are isolated, the only thing we have is the sea”

“We are isolated, the only thing we have is the sea”, says Nestor Tello Arboleda, who grew up in Termales, Chocó. For any short-term visitor, Termales is a corner of paradise. A closer look would darken the picture with the presence of paramilitaries and limited resources, but Nestor is not a man who lets himself down. He discovered surf when he was 28 and made it a plan of life. He and his brother started to ride waves on wooden pieces of his bed frame and continued on hand carved boards made of their native jungle trees, until they met an Australian tourist who gifted them fifty proper boards to start a school for the kids of the community. Passion spread quickly and members of the 170-kid club have since participated to international competitions. Santiago Mosquera, the 17-year-old star of the group, wants to become a professional, which would mean for Nestor to realize one of his dreams. In a moment when young generations are fleeing to urban areas, he wants to give kids “a reason to stay here and care for their territory.”

-Laurence Cornet and Gaia Squarci