Whether you pay attention to International news or not, you’ve likely heard that Nicaragua is currently in the midst of some serious political strife. Although the media have slowed down their reporting, it’s our belief that very little has changed. And although we cannot offer a detailed report on what is going in the country as a whole (because we don’t know the full truth of it ourselves) we write to you today, to update you on life at camp.
It’s with heavy hearts that we have decided to close the gates to Rise Up Surf, a necessary decision that was not made easily.
As we were never directly affected by the protests and violence in the remote community of Asseradores, we decided to continue operations when the news of conflict first broke. But as the media reported a continually worsening situation over the months, we became less comfortable with our guests risking their own safety to make it out to us. Until very recently, we had hoped that the situation might be resolved quickly. As it stands, there appears to be no resolution in the immediate future and so we have decided to close the doors for now as this was the best way to ensure our guests safety.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR THE COMMUNITY
Asseradores is a thriving community because of the tourism that surfing brings there. Unfortunately, like us, many of the local businesses have had to shut down because of the political situation. This means that many of the local people are out of work and many of the projects that aim to improve the community have had to come to a halt- a reality that has been hard for us to face at Rise Up.
As many of you know, most of our staff are local and it’s because of them that Rise Up is the success that it is. It’s also because of them, and their dependency on the living that they make working for us, that closing the doors was such a hard decision to make. With a strength of spirit unique to the Nicaraguan people, our familia have remained amazingly upbeat and positive as we move through this transition. For the guides especially, less work = more surfing. Check out the video below.
But despite the smiles and determined perseverance, we know that our absence will be felt by them and also by the schools that we were aiming on improving with our Clean Water Project. It’s because of this that we desperately hope that we can reopen the doors and begin business again in November once the rains have gone. But in the meantime, we are working toward setting up some support for our friends.
We know that many of you have been touched by this community and by the amazing employees of Rise Up, and many of you have reached out to us asking how you can help. It’s because of this that we have decided to set up a fundraiser on GoFundMe where you can make a donation of your choosing.
50% of all money raised will be split evenly between the staff and the other 50% will go toward the Clean Water project so that the community as a whole will benefit. If you’re not in a position to help financially, simply helping to raise awareness and sharing the fundraiser with your network would mean the world to us. Just hit the button below for more info.
THE FUTURE OF RISEUP
At this stage we are still hoping we can re-open in November as planned. We are confident that – as beach towns have not been affected and as the conflict is not aimed at tourists – we should be able to continue business as usual in Aposentillo after the rainy season. However, as this is dependent on the situation not getting any worse, we are also looking into other potential locations.
So far we have brainstormed ideas such as Costa Rica, Barbados, Guatemala and Panama, but would love to have input from our fans. So, if you have an idea for where you’d like to visit Rise Up on the road, please shoot us a message or comment on our social media. We read every comment and if we are forced to rethink the Rise Up concept for a while, we want to make sure that it’s somewhere you’d all be stoked on.
For those of you that had to cancel your trips due to the conflict, we thank you for your patience and understanding and hope that we get to host you in the future. To our regulars and those that have followed us for sometime, thank you for all of your kind words and concern. We are sorry we have been so slow to react and offer answers, but the initial shock has taken a while to come to terms with. Thankfully everyone in the Rise Up family is safe but we obviously feel the pain of the Nicaraguan people and are grateful for all of your continued support.
It’s our hope that we can welcome you all to our our home in Nicaragua soon, or to have some fun with you all on the road in the meantime.