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Posted: January 11th, 2016

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Skatebenfico Tour: Ecuador – Another Poseiden Foundation Success

Poseiden Foundation’s founder, Micaela Ramirez, firmly believes that by teaming-up people, nonprofits and organizations we are able to reach more youth and communities. So for the seventh year she teamed up with the Berrics to host Ladies Day at The Berrics. This year, Ladies Day at the Berrics raised funds and awareness for Poseiden’s Skatebenefico Tour with Skateboarding Ecuatoriano and Canon Point Galapagos.  Poseiden is grateful to the Berrics and all those who attended and supported Ladies Day.

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What People are Saying About Ladies Day at the Berrics

‘Getting to see Ladies Day grow each year at The Berrics in not only number of participants, but skill level of the girls is a true testament to the awesomeness and awareness that the Poseiden Foundation has been able to create by educating youth on the power of community through skateboarding’.      – Clayton Gabor

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Poseiden creates community events that helps those in rural impoverished areas learn through skateboarding and surfing plus helps all of us gain a greater awareness of community needs both locally and globally. By teaming up with Techo por Ecuador, a nonprofit that builds livable housing for homeless families – the Poseiden Ecuadorian mission was able to build and leave a lasting testament.

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What People are Saying About What Poseiden Does for the Community

Time and time again, I continue to support Poseiden Foundation’s positive impactful ways of connecting with the youth. There is never a moment not ceased to give back, and Poseiden Foundation is able to do this through their youth outreach programs and skateboarding”. –Vanessa Torres

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The Poseiden Team – I would list everyone’s name here adventure began on Avianca Airlines, an El Salvador airline who generously helped us reach our destination. Our first stop was San Cristobal, Galapagos where we teamed-up with Juana Sotomayor, the founder of Canon Point Galapagos, a Eco-tourism company. Juana teaches the youth of San Cristobal through action sports. He believes and teaches that anything is possible if you stick to your path, stay positive, follow your passions and work-hard!

Juana and her team lead us on several environmental excursions. We learned about the delicate eco-system and the importance of keeping our oceans and land clean through beach cleanups. The eco-tourism activities gave each volunteer on tour a chance to gain the knowledge needed to inspire other youth around the world about the importance of keeping our place sustainable for the future. During our time with Canon Point Galapagos we went to an elementary school to invite the youth to participate, and held two skateboarding events.

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What People are Saying About the Environmental Excursions

It was great to bond with the youth of San Cristobal, not only through our shared passion of skateboarding, but also through our beach cleanings. It was great to show them how much we appreciated the opportunity to visit the island by cleaning up trash and to see the local kids appreciate and understand the majesty of the land by cleaning alongside us. -Amelia Brodka

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The first night was skate session with the local youth. Every child that participated left with something. (Complete skateboards, wheels, trucks, grip-tape, t-shirts, pants, socks, sunglasses, and bearings were all generously donated so they could be shared at this event). Ecuadorian videographer/photographer Greko Mejia and Go Pro videographer Marcelo Andres captured it all.

Highlights included a Skateboarding Fiesta with Skateboard Clinics taught by Amelia Brodka, Vanessa Torres, Mecu Videla and Micaela Ramirez.  A Game of S.K.A.T.E and then the highlight of the night a Hippie-jump over a homemade stick. More than 100 people gathered around and the highest jump landed was over 3 feet!!

The following day we headed to Guayaquil to meet with our organizer Andres Qui Chong from Skateboarding Ecuatoriano.

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What People are Saying About Skateboarding with the Locals

We spent a week on San Cristóbal in the Galápagos that I will never forget. Teaming up with two truly selfless humans, Juana and Carlos, of Canon Point we were able to put on a best trick contest that brought out not just local rippers but what felt like the whole island. Community is what it’s all about and doing that thru skateboarding in a positive way is just as rewarding for me.

We also got to team up with the local park ranger of the island and his young group “The Little Rangers” for a beach day cleanup! It was truly inspiring to watch these kids so stoked on keeping their land clean right down to the smallest piece of trash. They all got me so pumped I was a bit sad when our session came to an end. But, getting to experience that has encouraged me to be even more conscientious about respecting our planet. Those kids ruled!” –Vanessa Tores

“Having a rollerblade background doing a skateboarding event with poseiden help me realize we need to support all sports no matter what. It also was an inspiration to me to work with the Pro’s and see them inspire so many kids of my city skate better and improve. It makes a big difference when you work with people that want to create a positive change. This is why I work with Micaela Ramirez from Poseiden Foundation, she continues to encourage youth to push their own limits and accomplish their dreams. –Memo Teran and City of Babahoyo

“Ecuador opened my heart and I full of motivation with regard to skate because people local received me very well, appreciate my way of expressing myself in the skateboarding and I liked to motivate many girls to the female level continue to grow in all countries. I charm to see the skaters of Galapagos happy to know Vanessa Torres and highly motivated by wanting to participate in the events and their faces of happiness to receive the prizes Galapagos taught me an unknown world of sensations from the wonderful nature to be able to help children with special needs to overcome their emotion. I delight to share with them and to help them by sharing their therapy with horses. Galapagos opened in my desire to help the rest of the people to motivate them to go out in search of new adventures and dreams despite the difficulties that can present life”.-Mecu Videla

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Finally we helped a non-profit La Hacienda Tranquil, who’s programs help children with disabilities such as Autism and Down-Syndrome by providing hands-on therapy through art and horseback riding.

Though the weather was drizzly our enthusiasm was bright. I wouldn’t list names – they are above. The art therapy session was lead by Ollie Ott, Vanessa Torres and Amelia Brodka then Mecu Videla, Syd Ott, Maddox Ott, and Micaela Ramirez lead the horse therapy The day ended with us receiving memorable hugs from the children. We will always remember the positive difference the therapies made in just one day; children that were shy and unwilling to communicate became open to communication and sharing their loving smiles.

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What people are saying about Micaela Ramirez and Poseiden Foundation

It’s people like Micaela and groups like Poseidon that keep skateboarding inspired and inspiring.” –Joel Peterson

“Thank you Micaela Ramirez and Poseiden foundation for always helping and investing in skateboarding in Ecuador. Thank you for making one of my dreams possible to meet Vanessa Torres, could not believe she was coming to Ecuador and I would meet her in person! I have seen many years by photos, videos and suddenly see it personally was a unique experience. Thank you Poseiden foundation for bringing joys, community throw-downs, and dreams wherever you go.”–Dayanara Garcia

“I often find myself in awe of all the wonderful experiences skateboarding has brought into my life, but this last Poseiden Foundation venture to Ecuador currently takes the cake. It’s truly amazing what gifts you carry within you that often go unnoticed until you actually fully open your heart.”

Before leaving San Cristobol, Juana demonstrated how youth programs change the lives of San Cristobol kids by building their confidence. Starting from the inspiration of Canon Point Galapagos, Juana has built a team of riders. She shared videos of the team riders and then used the Poseiden’s Dream Achieving guide to lead everyone on a mediation for accomplishing their dreams.

We left San Cristobol with warmth in our hearts; ready and excited for the second half of our youth outreach tour. Next Andres Chong Qui ,founder of Skateboarding Ecuatoriano, TECHO por Ecuador and Memo Teran, a sporting events advocate from the city of Babahoyo would lead us.

Guayaquil, Ecuador is a fast paced, spicy passionate city full of love and life. Our hostel featured state of the art technologies. It was completely different from our San Cristobol accommodations, where many resources are scarce.

Guayaquil proved polar opposite from San Cristobal in so many ways.

Our first adventure to a packed skate park showed us just how passionate and fast paced Guayaquil is. The park featured banked hips, various ledges and hubbas, euro gaps, banks and, stairs rails plus a miniramp. We could feel the experience and passion of the local skaters.

It took a second to adjust to the rough, bumpy surface of the concrete ramps, but soon we were having fun playing various games of skate, connecting with the locals and just sessioning the park. In addition to skaters we met numerous roller bladers.

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Once we reached our TECHO por Ecuador destination a post-construction housing project, we realized the disparity between wealth.  EXPLAIN THE DIFFERENCE That’s why TECHO por Ecuador exists to improve the lives of each community member. They give residents the opportunity to live with deserved humanistic necessities.

We entered the community ready to work, which was good because we were immediately given tools to break dirt, clear holes and pull out flooring. Our mission: renovate a house with an unlivable foundation. It was the hardest work any of us had ever done.

It took several hours to finish our duties. We were than treated to an amazing lunch cooked by the family who’s home we were fixing. The feeling was amazing as was finding out the $5,000usd Poseiden Foundation raised would allow TECHO por Ecuador to build two homes. With $600usd, they can provide a new foundation, boards and flooring for three homes.

In the afternoon, we raced back to the skate park of Guayaquil. Grateful to the Deportes de la Muy Ilustre Municipalidad de Guayaquil for giving Skateboarding Ecuadoriano and Poseiden Foundation permission to use the city skate park for a Best Trick competition. Over 300 youth attended with over 40 skateboarders competing from different cities of Ecuador. Some skaters traveled from Peru and Colombia just to attend.

The next morning we went to another impoverished part of Guayaquil to meet with Techo por Ecuador and assist in repairing a home. Techo showed us a family home that was built for only $2,500 and then explained the maintenance required.

The foundation of one home was compromised of 2 x 4s weakened after years of rainfall. Our team assignment: dig 3ft ditches around the house that would allow us to replace the foundation. We quickly learned the various tools and got to work.

It was hard work breaking through the ground with chunks of rock right under the surface. Eventually, we dug deep enough to replace the pillars with new two-by-fours that would extended the life of the home.  Despite the challenges of the day, we were grateful for the opportunity and left resolved to raise additional money for Techo’s work.

Our work with Techo complete we headed to the Guayaquil skate park for a best trick event. The park was absolutely packed when we arrived. Filled with people from Guayaquil and all over Ecuador, Columbia, Peru and surrounding countries. The crowd was excited to see our team and find out about product and have pictures taken.

Some product was set aside to raise money for Techo. Once the selling was underway the best trick competition began. We started in the “small” section consisting of a bump to bar, hubbas and a grass gap. The quantity and quality of tricks was amazing. Including a crooked grind nollie flip on the bump to bar, a heelflip front blunt on the bump to bar, a 360 pressure-flip down the grass gap and many many more. Ultimately, the best trick in this section went to a female skater from Columbia who pulled a very clean nollie big heel down the grass gap.

We then moved to the second section, which was bigger and consisted of a large double set, a handrail and a hubba. So many tricks went down including a kickflip up and over the rail, a hardflip down the stairset, a heelflip boardslide . Ultimately, the winner pulled a very impressive kickflip back lip down the handrail.

Last but not least, we held a best trick competition for the girls that included the entire park. The girls from Columbia stood out immediately and pulled trick after trick such as 5050 down the huge hubba and 180 out. Eventually winning best trick by kickflipping the grass gap. Every winner received a huge stacks of prizes that left everyone super excited!

On our final day we went to Babahoyo for a skate event. Babahoyo is a town 1.5 hours from Guayaquil. There Poseiden Foundation connected with the local government to put on a sizable event.

The government set up large bleachers, tents and a DJ system, and donated a $500 prize purse. The mayor determined that $300 would go to the winner of the boys’ division and $200 would go to the winner in the girls’ division. Poseiden Foundation completed the prizes by distributing $1,000 to males division and over $2,000 to women’s.

The event was a skate jam which was perfect because the park has a lot of interesting features including a jump box, huge hubbas, a halfpipe, a vert wall and several quarterpipes. The hobbas and rails were very tall and the transitions on the ramps were inconsistent and bumpy so it was definitely a challenging park.

Everyone skated really hard and many difficult tricks were landed. The top 3 in the boys’ division were as follows: 3rd: 360 nosegrab off of the side of the launch box to flat, boardslide to feeble on the big hubba and heelflip indy off of a very short deck of a quarterpipe.  In the girls division it was a touch match. Mecu was on fire. She landed trick after trick after trick! She even did a rock and roll on the very sketchy vert wall and then a fron rock on an even sketchier quarterpipe. However, in the last minutes of the contest, winner landed a perfect 360 flip off of a bank to flat and won the best trick. Mecu placed 2nd with her fearless rock and roll and  placed 3rd for her boneless off of a bank to flat.

It was inspiring to see the Mayor of the city himself awarding the prizes . Poseiden Foundation loves to see cities embrace skateboarding so this was a beautiful and perfect way to end the trip.

In conclusion, thank you to everyone that made this year’s Skatebenefico tour: Ecuador possible.

-We were able to accomplish Poseiden Foundation’s mission because everyone donated and worked together.

  • Poseiden Foundation met over 1,500 youth of Ecuador and surrounding areas who participated in Skatebenifico events.
  • Through the skateboarding community in Guayaquil and Babahoyo we raised over $500.00 towards Techo por Ecuador.
  • The money collected will help complete three post-construction homes.

-Thank you to our volunteers that donated their talents and time to making this tour a reality!

-Thank you Professional skateboarders Amelia Brodka, Vanessa Torres and Mecu Videla

-Thank you to our host Ecuadorian organizations Andres Chong Qui founder of Skateboarding Ecuatoriano, Juana Sotomayor founder of Canon Point Galapagos and her family, the Mayor of the Alcadia de Babahoyo and Memo Teran

-Thank you to Andres Marcelo and Greko Mejia for being our photographers and videographers on tour.

-Thank you to the Ott Family (Syd, Maddox, Justin and Ollie) for supporting Poseiden Foundation through our travels and making our travels possible.

-Thank you to the Founder of Poseiden Foundation, Micaela Ramirez who helped make this tour possible by organizing and building a bridge between the Ecaudorian organizations and skateboarding.