Surf For Life

Why choose Surf For Life?

Surf For Life is a CROWD IMPACT focused organization - connecting passionate volunteers to sustainable construction projects identified and driven by local communities. Each 1-week trip is part of a larger multi-week initiative to construct projects such as schools, health infrastructure and community centers. Expect to get your hands dirty, but no building experience necessary.

In addition, our trips immerse volunteers in cultural exchange activities such as intercambio sessions with local youth, working with women's artisan collectives, learning local cooking or fishing techniques, and soccer or softball games on the beach with the kiddos.

Volunteers stay in cool beachside accommodations near world class surf breaks - great for experienced surfers and beginners alike. Surf lesson included. Tasty meals, knowledgeable full-time trip leaders, and lots of sunshine...


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Yes, I recommend this program

Make An Impact With A Great Organization

Surf For Life is a great organization to complete a volunteer trip with. The week-long trip was well planned and executed, but there was enough free time to relax as well. If you want to explore another country but aren't fluent in the language or are nervous about the customs, SFL is a great way to experience the culture while having a support system for any need you might have while there.

What would you improve about this program?
Trip listings are not posted far enough in advance for some interested in participating.
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Yes, I recommend this program


There's something magical about taking yourself away from the grind, disconnecting and doing meaningful work with extraordinary people and this trip delivers on this reality.

The trip offers everything:
-the opportunity to make a difference to folks who need and value our help
-time to connect with yourself by unplugging with your friends, with the volunteer staff, and on a surf board
-culture, culture, culture
-Fantastic people - the local community is so welcoming and friendly

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Yes, I recommend this program

Can't wait for trip #2!

Can't say enough good things about my trip with Surf For Life to Guatemala in November 2014!

Here's a brief list of the highlights for me:

- Awesome accommodations in beach-side huts with surfing just steps away
- A meaningful project focused on bringing education to a developing village, with a tangible result for the village's residents
- Hard labor under the sun! Orrrrr the shade if you didn't want to get a good sweat on!!
- Engagement with the youth we were targeting with our project through daily events like painting, soccer and spanish lessons
- Being around such amazing and grateful people, from the Surf For Life staff, to the volunteers I was working with the to village residents

Add on to all this the fact that I got to experience a country that I might not have otherwise got to experience the way that I did and it all equals an experience I won't ever forget.

Thanks for the amazing laughs and memories and I can't wwit for the next adventure I will go on with Surf For Life!!

What would you improve about this program?
I think that have more than one surfing lesson would be a great addition for beginners. Other than that, I think the trip was a great success and liked all aspects of it.

Well, to be honest, I wouldn't have minded working more than just 3 hours a day, but I understand why we were limited to that amount.
Read my full story
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Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing once in a lifetime experience!

Volunteering with Surf for Life in El Paredon, Guatemala was an all around amazing experience. The La Choza Chula crew made us feel right at home and gave us the opportunity to interact closely with the community. Helping to build the school was like nothing I had ever done before. Being able to interact with the children of the community was extremely rewarding. Our hosts integrated fun activities to interact with the kids and with the community. It was the perfect mix of volunteering and cultural immersion. This trip left me with a positive impression of Surf for Life and I would 100% be interested in doing another volunteer trip. I feel so lucky to have chosen this program and would recommend it to anyone!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Didn't want to leave!

I traveled to Guatemala with some fellow coworkers in February and I was extremely impressed with the organization at the worksite and I enjoyed various activities they planned for our group throughout the week. Our group leader did an excellent job providing background and history of the community. Some of my favorite memories of the trip are with the community members of El Paredon and working in the local school. Amazing journey and I had a blast! I would recommend this experience to anyone looking for a volunteer opportunity while being immersed in another culture.


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Stephen Grieves

My name is Stephen Grieves, hailing from the beautiful city of Toronto, Ontario in the country of Canada! When I'm not pursuing new business ventures and making a go of it in the world of start-up business, I love to be outside in the sun (when we get it!), playing sports and living an active lifestyle.

Why did you pick this program?

Surf For Life was brought to my attention by one of my best friends who works for, a company strongly rooted in involvement with charitable initiatives and a corporate partner of Surf For Life.

Learning about the mission of Surf For Life and the structure of the trip, I couldn't help but get involved. I felt a strong connection in being able to help build a school that would allow the youth of El Paredon to continue their educational journey.

Of course, being able to surf a few days during the week was an AMAZING add-on also!

What is the most important thing you learned abroad?

Well not the most important thing I learned, but something I thought was funny nonetheless was that no matter how old you get, afternoon story time can make anyone start to nod off!

While we were reading Dr. Seuss in Spanish with the kids a few of the young ones started to doze off and nap. At the same time, I noticed a few of the volunteers on our group (me included) getting heavy eyes as well!

Different ages, different backgrounds, different languages, SAME RESULT!

What do you tell your friends who are thinking about going abroad?

To everyone that asks, I tell them that experiences like the one I had in Guatemala with Surf For Life will absolutely change you as a person.

From being able to see how gracious the entire village was by our being there, to how excited the kids were to have a school being built for them, to the culture we were able to experience by being in a remote Guatemalan location, each aspect of the trip was an eye-opening experience in its own way.

I thoroughly believe that everyone should experience something like this at least once in their life.

What made this experience unique and special?

What made this experience special to me was the relationships built with everyone we were on the trip travelling with and those we met while traveling.

While we started the trip as a few groups of strangers that didn't know one another very well, by the end we were one big family that had connected throughout the week.

From our inside jokes to our roles on the worksite to the chats we were able to have with one another in our downtime, the connections built will always have a place with me.

Tell us about an experience you had that you could not have had at home.

Living in an open-concept hut and waking up to surf the Pacific Ocean every morning!

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Be open and enjoy every aspect of it because when it ends, you'll miss being a part of something so special.

Would I go back and do it again?