KiteAddictColombia x Vivida Lifestyle Colombia
It comes with much excitement to announce that the 1st September 2017 saw the launch of Vivida Lifestyle in Colombia. The fuel and the fire behind the wave, Sophie Jackl tells us a bit about her story, her kiteboarding school KiteAddictColombia and introduces us to #VividaColombia.
KiteAddictColombia brings on kids from the local community that are as young as 8 years old. Sophie and her partner Martin teaches them english, teaches them to kite, gives them jobs.
Kiteboarding, as almost all those that practice the sport know, is so much more than a sport. For the kids in Colombia, it quickly becomes not only a hobby for them but a way of life; some becoming kiteboarding instructors and financing their families through the sport, some even competing and reaching a level where they compete internationally.
KiteAddict Colombia acts as as a sort of social hub. The school connects the kids from the local community to people from all over the world. It instills confidence, independence and inspires them to discover more and more of this world. It is a true ambassador to everything the Vivida Lifestyle represents and we are blessed to announce this partnership.
The kite community in Colombia is growing fast. Everybody knows each other and helps each other out as much as they can. Sophie has so far brought on two local boys as ambassadors to form #TeamVividaColombia. Nelson Gomez, 19 years old, from the indigenous group wayuu, and 21 year old Renzo David. Nelson was the first kid KiteAddictColombia thought how to kite. They are both two humble, kind and go-get-it individuals that stand as true ambassadors to the Vivida Lifestyle.
drugs – Farc – cartels – favelas, these are only a few stereotypes Europeans have in mind when they think of Colombia. During my travels in Venezuela in 2008, I heard about scenic places and diverse untouched landscapes from other travelers there. These recommendations made me very curious and I thought that it might be worth a try. An internship for a non-governmental organization in 2010/2011 in Barranquilla was the perfect excuse to travel to Colombia. Famously known for its great Carnival in Barranquilla and authentic colonial city Cartagena my first impressions of Colombia’s north coast were mind-blowing. Especially the coastline with its white sandy beaches and palm trees is marvelous and outstanding.
Once settled, I wanted to improve my windsurfing skills and maybe also try Kiteboarding. I searched for a Kiteboarding school online and found the watersport school Nautica Velero in Puerto Velero, near Barranquilla. The staff there was very friendly and I had a fantastic kite instructor. He was one of the locals and whilst kiting we got to know each other better and fell in love head over heels. After a wonderful year discovering different kite spots along the Colombia Caribbean coast together, we discovered Cabo de la Vela. It is an indigenous territory in a nicely protected bay accompanied with flat and shallow water and all year offshore winds. When we first encountered this bay, there was hardly any infrastructure there but we saw great potential in it. We decided that this was the perfect spot for our kitesurf school and embraced the opportunity.
At first it was hard work to become part of the Cabo de la Vela community not being indigenous. Once acquainted with the locals, everything was easier. We started training the local boys and girls to become kite instructors. Through kiteboarding, the local kids support their families financially and also started competing successfully in tournaments around Colombia. The school is now a huge part of the community’s network of tourism. At the moment there are five kite schools in total here and the kite community is continuously growing.
Seven years have passed since we first discovered this part of Colombia. We have visitors and kite professionals from all over the world coming to Cabo de la Vela now. Most of our customers are from Europe. The majority of our customers is inexperienced but also riders that want to kite in new spots are dropping in frequently. Kiters at any level can come and improve their skills with us and have a great time at our kite school. Through our annual kite events we bring professional riders like Gisela Pulido, Ariel Corniel and Paula Novotna to our hotspot in the North of Colombia. They all enjoy the excellent conditions here and our indigenous kids have the opportunity to meet their idols.
All in all, it has been a long way from discovering this spot to where we are now. We worked very hard to set up the school and the kitesurf community here. If I think of Colombia it’s: breathtaking nature – excellent coffee – unlimited opportunities - friendly people and of course kiteboarding. Colombia is so much more that meets the eye.
If I made you curious, check out our website http://kiteaddictcolombia.com/en/ or find us on TripAdvisor or just drop by. Once here I promise you, you will get kiteAddicted!
Contact Vivida Colombia
Sophie and the team at KiteAddictColombia would love to hear from anybody interested in joining the wave. Contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org