See our friends at Ride Nature featured in the Naples News on naplesnews.com, with photos, mission and explanation of their latest trip to Nicaragua.
Surf’s up! Naples company, Ride Nature, spreads good vibrations on Nicaragua trip
In mid-May, eight young people from Naples — boarder types, you know, surf, skate, snow — head off to Nicaragua, the poorest country in Central America.
All but one have never been there before. Don’t know what to expect. Don’t even speak Spanish.
Instead of luggage they have a multitude of big, fat boxes, bursting at the seams, filled with clothing, shoes and sports gear. They’ve come to Nicaragua to give it all away, but exactly to whom, they don’t know yet.
They don’t have much money. They really don’t have a clue. What they do have — in abundance — is hope.
On May 18, Koch, Shannon, Shadley, Koch’s 19-year-old sister Emily, brothers David and Kenny Main, Morgan Leonard and Matt Selva, all from Naples, arrived in San Juan del Sur.
For the next week, the group visited schools and towns. From donations and fundraisers in Southwest Florida, the Ride Nature team was able to give away more than 400 articles of new clothing, nearly 50 pairs of new shoes, 23 skateboards and six surfboards.
They also gave away about 20 soccer balls, 24 baseballs, and school supplies to several of the local schools in San Juan and Rivas.
“It went better than we ever hoped for,” Koch said. “Personally, it also made me realize how blessed I really am. Many of the people there lived in shacks. I saw how simple there lives are but how happy they are.
“I’m grateful for what we have. There’s so much more we can do.”