Puerto Escondido, commonly referred to as “The Mexico Pipeline“, is an internationally recognized surfing paradise and desperately needs the help of the global surf community.
The town of Puerto Escondido was devastated by Hurricane Carlotta on Friday 15th June, 2012. Two children died when their house was taken by a mudslide, and one 56-year-old woman passed away when the wind from the category 2 hurricane flipped her car. The beach side town has been severely damaged and is in need of urgent assistance to rebuild this community that thrives on tourism.
The Puerto Escondido lifeguards are in need of help due to all damage cause by the hurricane. They used to have 8 towers along the beach at Playa Zicatela and now there’s not a single one of them. This is just one example of what is required to help rebuild the local community; another is to promote tourism back to the area to stimulate the local economy.
The International Bodyboarding Association (IBA) has launched a global campaign to “Salvemos Puerto” (Save Puerto).
The IBA is looking to raise US$100,000 for the base funding to stage the IBA Zicatella Pro at Puerto Escondido from August 8 – August 18, 2012. The event will be used as a platform to achieve the primary objectives of:
- Driving tourism to the town of Puerto Escondido and to promote the area as a safe tourist destination in order to drive the local economy
- Raise funds and mobilise resources to rebuild the 8 lifeguard towers at Playa Zicatela.
The core campaign is to sell 5000 “Salvemos Puerto” t shirts @ $30 each to raise the required funding to achieve the above objectives.
The Bodyboard Industry has also donated over $150,000 of merchandise at no cost to help raise the required funds. The following limited merchandise packs will be made available for sale with all funds raised going to the Salvemos Puerto Campaign:
- $60 pack (x500 units);
- $80 pack (x250 units); and
- $100 pack (x500 units)
Turbo Surf Designs, Reeflex Wetsuits, Inverted Bodyboarding and Freedom Fins are donating products for each of the packs so that the retail value of each pack far exceeds the ticket price. As such it is a legitimate offering in its own right.
The campaign is to raise the first $100,000 prior to 8th July via merchandise sales through to the conclusion of the event via a viral campaign to raise awareness and funding globally.
More information on Puerto Escondido
Puerto Escondido remains a traditional Mexico fishing village in the State of Oaxaca on the southern Mexico Pacific coast. Puerto is very Un-Cancun and offers a rare taste of old Mexico with some of the best beaches in Mexico.
A Personal Account From a Local Resident
For starters the whole population of Puerto and the towns nearby were definitely NOT ready for this. The authorities were saying on the local radio it was a tropical storm and not a Category 2 hurricane. So lots of people were not prepared for what we all felt.
The storm started hitting us around 7pm with strong winds, about 50mph. The winds increased slowly until the eye of the storm was right on top of us and everything stopped. Lots of people thought it was over, but it was far from over.
That was around 8pm. As soon as the eye moved on, the winds finally came on strong, around 90mph, with gusts up to around 120mph. The darkness made things a lot worse, I think. No one could actually see what was going on.
Lots of houses lost their roofs and those inside had to run to find shelter somewhere else. I gave shelter to a family of 10 — all in one room, hiding till next morning. The windows were whistling like crazy. It was scary. Lots of windows split apart.
Winds lasted until 10pm, I think, and then the rain came. It was maybe not as strong as Hurricane Pauline in ’97, but some people think the winds were stronger this time due to the wind direction.
Only a little part of the harbor area has electricity as of Monday morning. Slowly, it’s getting fixed and power’s being turned on in other areas of town. The area by the Point still has no power or running water. I don’t even want to imagine how it is for the little communities far from here where the hurricane blasted them as well.
Two children died when their house was taken by a mudslide nearby, and one 56-year-old woman passed away when the wind flipped her car.)
Saturday morning was really sad and awful to see all kinds of people who had lost everything the night before. Hundreds of trees had fallen all over the town. Dogs were running like crazy, as if they were wild dogs on the streets. All streets were still flooded. I can’t even imagine how they were when the rain was at its strongest point on Friday night.
Lifeguards were the first to evaluate all the damage by the beach. All eight towers were completely smashed. At the harbor, there was not a single boat in the water. All boats had to be taken out. Ironically, a restaurant called the Split Coconut was split in half by the only palm tree that fell down in the entire area.
Now there’s been lots of helicopters flying the area trying to evaluate all damage in the region and federal resources should be coming in shortly.
YouTube clip of the Hurricane and the aftermath:
The IBA Zicatela Pro
The IBA World Tour is the sole professional World Tour for Bodyboarding. You can find out all about us and our rich history at http://ibaworldtour.com/
The IBA Zicatella Pro at Puerto Escondido, Mexico was one of the highlights on the 2011 IBA World Tour with perfect 10 feet surf and a record breaking worldwide audience watching live on the webcast. This set it up as one of the most highly anticipated stops of 2012.
Below are some images of the 2011 competition.
Below are 2 highlight clips from the 2011 event, including the final day clip along with a clip with the IBA riders working with the local community in Puerto Escondido:
The IBA has spoken directly with the locals and they passionately would like to see the IBA event continue in the scheduled date of August 1 – August 10, 2012 to drive tourism back to the local community and the raise awareness of the challenges they face. Adrian Erick Davo Vela who is the new president of the Surfing Association of the State of Oaxaca (ASEO), was quoted as saying the following:
We have seen a great deal of unity from people working together to reconstruct Puerto Escondido. Locals and foreigners alike have shown a true sense of community helping each other. The hurricane has helped us understand how powerful and important it is for our town to work together. The main problem was that we did not get enough warning time and information to prepare prior to the event, a lot of people don’t have internet and in the radio the information given was to general. I think it’s realistic to host the IBA event in the original dates and this will also show the world how quick we recovered from the hurricane.
The IBA would like to use is global reach and via the IBA Zicatella Pro at Puerto Escondido to raise awareness and funds for the rebuilding of the town of Puerto Escondido.
The IBA (International Bodyboarding Association) remains committed to do everything possible to continue to stage the event to support the local community which is facing a significant challenge.