By Esteban Biba
Iztapa, Guatemala, 17 Sep (efe-epa).- Nine-year-old Dayana is learning to ride the waves like her teachers, two surf champions giving children a brighter future through sport.
She is confident in the water and glides along on the waves.
“You will be the next champion of Guatemala,” one of her teachers Virginia Bartolomé tells her.
She is joined by two brothers Steven and Thiago who are more nervous as they enter the water for the first time.
It does not take them long before they are cruising over the waves.
Bartolomé and Tiziana Billy have been giving free classes to local children since January on the beaches of Iztapa, in the department of Escuintla, 125 kilometers south of Guatemala City.
The pair are Guatemalan champion surfers who have represented their country in international competitions.
“Iztapa is a beach with a large river mouth. That brings a lot of fishing and good things but it is abandoned by the local government. Its potential for surfing is enormous,” Bartolomé tells Efe.
El Ride surfing academy gives private lessons to those who can afford them and free of charge to the children of the local communities, where they can learn the values and discipline of the sport.