By David Holguin, Skateboader Magazine, Ecuador.
The tour dates were January 25th - 30th in Quito, Ecuador. The Foundation's core aim during this tour was to work with children and to help them realize the possibilities of following their dreams. Five riders; Brazilian pro Eliana Sosco, USA bowl legend Jen O’Brien, local Ecuadorian pro rider Pancho Moscoso, Radical Skateboarder Magazine editor David Holguin and VidaSur owner Andres Holguin and one photographer/filmier - Jenna Selby from the UK and Graffiti artist Luis "Huesos" Donoso were brought in to coach and to talk to the students in 3 different underprivileged schools and one orphanage.
The first group of kids we visited were from the orphanage Remanso de Amor. They were so enthusiastic and excited about the visit that they kept hugging the coaches and asking them questions about skateboarding and graffiti. Half the students jumped straight onto the boards and the other half straight to the cans of paint. The skate and graffiti scene is only beginning to take off in Ecuador, and it’s great to see everyone starting off on equal footing.
We visited the Escuela Bernardo de Legarda Elementary/Middle school that has 3 different school hours (7am-1pm, 2-6pm, 6:30-10pm) due to the students work schedules. There we were confronted by over 400 children. The school had set-up the presentation for originally 60 students but the Director thought it too good an opportunity to miss and decided to involve the first four primary grades. At first we pulled girls and boys out of the crowd until there was a stampede of 200 children, stepping over all the coaches going straight for the skateboards and wanting to participate. At this point, the coaches thought that a demonstration would be preferable, as there was not enough equipment for everyone. In the classroom, with over 40 students, Huesos gave them a lesson on how to draw human figures and gave a demonstration on how to draw comic characters.
The following day we visited the Escuela Fiscal in the southern part of Quito. This school is an indigenous school with no electricity or running water. The kid’s have ever seen skateboards before but again they all took to it straight away and skated non-stop for over an hour. The girls helped out the boys, giving them pointers on their stance. Huesos also had the opportunity to Graffiti on the schools wall representing the Ecuador's indigenous heritage and oneness with nature.
The last day of the tour we went to Mitad del Mundo (The Equator) to visit another school that is mixed with 80% indigenous students and 20% students that are immigrants from other surrounding countries in South America. The school has over 2 acres of land in which they are teaching the students about Eco-Tourism and how to and why it's important to conserve Ecuador’s nature. Its a starting program with little to none funding but the Directors dream is that the students at this school have opportunities to not only learn about their culture but help the planet by helping the students understand the importance of being activist when it comes to conservation of the planets resources.
January 29th, 2011, we held a skate competition at the local skate park Parque La Carolina. There was a really good turn of a couple of hundred people and over 35 males came out to compete and 3 girls from Guayaquil (Southern Ecuador) made the 8 hour bus journey and 1 from Riobamba a 4 hour bus ride and 8 girls from Northern and Southern Quito made the journey to “La Parque” just so that they could be involved.
The males competition consisted of 6 heats of 8 and 8 minutes each heat. The finals from each heat then went into a Game of Skate to determine who would take First, Second and Third Place. Males First Place Winner walked away with: Zero, Cole Deck, Destruco trucks, Etnies shoes, Bones Bearing, Ace wax, Etnies Skate bag, Clothing, VidaSur Beanie,Bone wheels.
The females on the course were either learning to skate to the right of the snake run with coaches Jen and Eliana or practicing for the Female Skate Jam. We have 6 girls sign-up which is actually a big turn out for the female scene in Ecuador and had 15 minutes to skate. Each girls walked away with a Skate Deck, Bone Wheels,Shirts.
Female First Place received: Hoopla complete and gift bag, Destruco Trucks, 187 pads, Sector-Nine hat, Etnies and Livity Clothing and Adidas shoes. Second Place: Hoopla complete with Ace trucks and gift bag with Etnies Keep-A-Breast Shoe line and Livity Clothing. Third Place: Hoopla Deck with gift bag, Bone wheels and Etnies sweater.
Here is more info too about the trip.