Noah Lane gives us his notes from the field, product testing our True North range in Nicaragua with native surfer Aurita La Monita, taking some time outside of the lineup to explore this beautiful Central American country.
Beads of sweat ran down my neck, back and chest giving the unsettling feeling of a constant stream of insects inside my shirt. The humidity was palpable. Dusk was alive with fireflies and the still air amplified the noises of the forest. The constant buzz and thrum of cicadas, and the distant rumble of thunder all gave an impression that something was about to happen.
“We’ve had a long drought here; everyone is hoping that it will rain soon.” Aurita said. “The last time it did, I was laying here trying to sleep when all of a sudden the monkeys went crazy - within minutes it was pouring - the animals always seem to know,” she continued.
After a long journey travelling through New York and Miami, we finally arrived in Nicaragua. We came to meet with Venezuelan born Aurita La Monita.
They say that first impressions are lasting, and it was obvious from ours that Aurita was one of those people you come across only few times in your life. She had an easy going air and an obvious confidence about her. But it was her deeds in the local and broader community that really impressed.
Aurita told us of her her time living on Hawaii, where she was on the frontline in the fight against the big GMO companies, educating the youth in organic growing practices in the community garden, and attending protests.
After a long day of surfing a local left-hand point, we hear an electrical storm rumbling in the distance, so we head for dinner at a beachside taco shack in Santana. James recalls the fish tacos being the best around; Aurita confirms.
Conversation soon turns to the civil unrest in Aurita’s home country of Venezuela. She shows us photos, sent to her from school friends, of rows of molotov cocktails and explains how she’s scared for her brother and nephews still living in Caracus. It’s hard to grasp given our current setting, but the fire in her eyes is obvious.
Flocks of pelicans glide alongside the boat as we motor down the coast in search of the next day’s waves. We’re greeted with another flowing left point set against a backdrop of sandstone cliff. We trade waves for hours under the midday sun.
Later that afternoon, Aurita explains that social work is her real passion and tells us about the eco-brick project she has been implementing at the local school, one which involves filling plastic bottles with other waste plastics for use in construction. It brings home the importance of finding solutions to the plastic problems that grip our society.
That night I contemplate the places we’ve seen and the people we’ve met. In our time here, Aurita has shown us her way of life and we’ve experienced much more than just a surf trip.