Early every morning, Billy Antonio, Milton Isaac, and José Baltazar get ready for a hard day of work at the corn fields, which they’ve done since they were eight years old. Like many people from rural El Salvador, these three teenagers have been working their asses off for years. But they’ve found a way to let off some steam after work: surfing.
Surfing has become a source of happiness for the trio, as well as a healthy activity that helps strengthen their friendship. Despite being from Punta Mango, El Salvador, a place known for its huge waves, the sport is usually reserved for foreigners and locals who can afford to buy and constantly repair a surfboard.
So how did these campesino kids start surfing? “We were hired as Spanish tutors for the children of a French couple, and as payment we got our first surfing board,” they explain in a video produced by Gravedad Zero TV.
Anyone that has ever given the sport a try knows that getting on the board is only the first step to actually surfing. These three teens taught themselves the art of riding waves. No classes and “no videos or pictures,” they explain – all their learning happened through observation and trial and error.
The beautiful thing about sports is that it equalizes everyone, but for that to happen, access to the sport is necessary. With so many Latin Americans living in coastal cities, hopefully the sport will become democratized, so that many people, like these young Salvadorans, can also enjoy catching waves.