Valpo Surf Project
Student Spotlight: Toro Crew
As we are a small, growing nonprofit, there are a lot of moving parts to our organization. We each tackle several roles throughout the week in order to best serve, you guessed it, our kids. The program exists for the sake of our kids and their communities, and will continue to evolve according to their needs and desires. While we intermittently post their testimonials and regularly post their smiling faces on social media, we haven’t done as much to introduce them on a more personal level. As one might imagine, they’re a hilarious group and express themselves in every way imaginable, creating endless material for stories. Moving forward, we’ll use this space to share these stories and to paint a fuller picture of individual students. Today we’re starting out with some of the crew from Cerro Toro!
Say hello to Martina! She’s eleven years old and participates in the program with her younger siblings, Jose and Monserrat. When she’s older, she’d like to be a pastry chef, because everybody in her family loves to cook, especially her grandmother. Martina is wise beyond her years and is an amazing role model for her siblings.
This is Francisca! Dolphins are her favorite animal, because she loves to swim and thinks they’re beautiful. Surfing is absolutely her favorite part of the program, though piggyback rides seem to be a close second. She made a lot of progress in English last year and is especially fond of intense games of Uno.
Say hey to Daniella! She joined the program this past fall after turning eight. She likes to paint and draw in her free time. If my memories serves me correctly, she drew a beautiful purple cat in English class last year. She and her sister, Amanda, are both excited to continue surfing.
Meet Martín! He’s eleven years old and loves to surf. He has a ton of style on the board and has been working a lot on grabbing the rail to drop into bigger waves. Martin and his brother, Salvador, are absolutely inseparable and help each other a lot during every surf session. Tigers are his favorite animal.
Say hi to Salva, Martín’s brother! He’s nine years old and appears to be a budding environmentalist. He loves to be outside and hopes people will care more about protecting the environment, because, like us, it’s a living, growing entity. Salva is constantly trying to improve in all areas of life and brings an intensely positive outlook to everything he does.
Meet Martina’s little sister, Monserrat! She’s one of our program’s youngest participants, having just turned eight before the summer. She really loves unicorns and is a fan of all animals in general. When she grows up, she wants to be a doctor, because she loves taking care of people. Monserrat is one of our chattiest students and loves learning about all the Tíos.
This is Tristan! At 15 years old, he’s one of our oldest students from Toro. He is a sports fanatic, feeling his best when partaking in any type of athletic activity. His surfing has progressed a lot in the past few months, as he’s begun to charge bigger waves and to make more distinct turns. After dropping off the top of a particularly big one this summer, he’s having some trouble getting back out there, but is determined to conquer this fear and continue expanding his comfort zone on more advanced waves.
Meet Juan Pablo, a self-described “big sleepyhead”! He’s nine years old and is happiest when his younger siblings are happy. He has a notorious sweet tooth, going so far as to name his dog Chupete, the Spanish word for lollipop! During surf sessions, you can often find him building elaborate sand castles, cracking jokes, or searching for crabs with his new goggles. In the future, he’d like to join the police force to bring justice to his neighborhood.
While there are more stories to tell and students to profile, we’ll leave it there for now. Stay tuned for more fun facts, stories, and updates from our students!