The last stop of the Granito de Arena Central American tour took 2011 ASP world champion Carissa Moore and the rest of the team to the coastal community of El Tunco in El Salvador.
The surfers were received by over 30 children who were ready to learn how to surf and to reuse old plastic bottles in order to help the environment. Both the children and the surfers faced an additional task, as they were invited by El Salvador’s Zoological Foundation (FUNZEL) to release more than 400 baby sea turtles into the ocean.
"We helped all these tiny creatures find a new home in the ocean. It was incredible. It was an amazing experience, one that I will never forget!" said Moore.
"Hundreds of turtle eggs had hatched prior to our visit to El Salvador. It was the perfect way to teach these children about the importance of keeping our oceans plastic-free," said the Hawaiian.
She added: "Sea turtles, and other marine creatures, mistake plastics and other garbage as food – jellyfish, for example – and ingest it. This mistake causes blockages within their digestive system and eventual death."
El Salvador, which is the smallest country in Central America, sits on the Pacific Ocean and has four species of sea turtle...
Hawksbills, olive ridleys, leatherbacks, and greens are all found nesting on its beaches or foraging in its waters.
Carissa and the Granito de Arena ambassadors, which include founder Andrés Fernández, from Ecuador, Martín Passeri, from Argentina, Magnum Martínez, from Venezuela, Otto Flores, from Puerto Rico, and two-time Guinness World Record holder Gary Saavedra, from Panamá, were incredibly happy with the results of the three-country tour.
"We visited three coastal communities, collected almost 3,000 plastic bottles, taught over 100 kids how to surf, and helped release over 400 baby sea turtles into the ocean! We couldn’t be happier," said Fernández.
"Our dream is to spread this Granito de Arena (or 'Little Bit of Sand' in English) all over the world, teaching children in coastal communities everywhere to surf and to protect the ocean by keeping it plastic-free," he added.
Carissa then started to teach the kids how to ride a wave...
And then it was off out into the sea so the children could put what they'd learnt into practice.