Cabo De La Vela - Colombia : Kite surfing soars in remote Colombia. A small village is home to Beto Gomez, the sport's only star with Wayuu roots.

They came from all over the world to the remote stretch of Colombia's Caribbean coast. Two hailed from India. Two traveled from Switzerland. One from the Netherlands. Another from Seattle.

They all wanted to be taught by Beto Gomez, a professional kite surfer, in the spot where he first learned the sport.

La Guajira Peninsula is ideal for kite surfing. In Cabo de la Vela, Mr. Gomez's hometown, with nearly 1,000 residents and desert terrain, the windy season lasts nine months and the waves are flat.

So for five-days this year, amateur kite surfers - drawn by Mr.Gomez's social media and competitions broadcast online - traveled here for his classes.

" In India, we are really cheering for him,'' said Shyam Rao, 33, who arrived with his wife.

KITE SURFING, using a kite to propel a rider across the water and through the air, is not native to this part of the world or to the Wayuu  Colombia's largest Indigenous group, which governs the area.

It was brought to Cabo de la Vela nearly two decades ago by visiting foreigners or arijuna, a term in the Wayuu Indigenous language that includes Colombians who aren't Wayuu.

Not everyone in the community, whose leaders have fought to preserve their land and traditions, have embraced a sport that has brought growth and change.

But kite surfing has undoubtedly turned Cabo de la Vela into a budding destination. Mr. Gomez's family found a source of income beyond the usual fishing or artisan crafts in one of Colombia's poorest and most malnourished regions.

The World Students Society thanks author James Wagner.


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!