Branden DeFilippo’s Trip to Nicaragua
Where in Nicaragua did you travel?
I traveled to a small beach town called Popoyo Rivas on the west side of Nicaragua.
I understand you have a passion for surfing, which is what originally brought you down to Nicaragua, do you typically do community service when you travel for surfing?
I have never been given the opportunity to give back to a community while traveling for surfing, so when I was invited by my friend to participate in Serve & Surf, I couldn’t turn it down! I stayed with my friend who has done the program before and it truly was eye opening.
What did you do while you were in Nicaragua?
We jumped right into things! We first traveled to an orphanage giving us a chance to play with the children. We also provided the village with an alternator, a piece to charge the battery and to power the electrical system, for their broken tractor engine. We then established where we were staying in Rivas and we were able to surf for a little. We did not surf as much as I anticipated, and I was perfectly fine with that because giving back to the community was the greatest satisfaction this trip had to offer. We provided the community with water, food, baseball equipment, school supplies, and even taught them how to surf! It was truly amazing to see how happy the community was, and how grateful they were for our help and services.
Was there a communication barrier?
I don’t speak any Spanish, so there absolutely was a communication barrier. But we were fortunate enough to have a translator, Caesar, who helped us communicate. The people of Nicaragua understood some broken English, but it was still hard to talk and pray with them. However, when we were given the opportunity to surf and play baseball with the community, our actions definitely spoke louder than our words.
For me, it was seeing the joy the people had even though they didn’t have much. The ability to step back and appreciate their happiness was a blessing. Being immersed in such a different culture can make you truly appreciate the life you live. The people of Nicaragua live their life pursuing hope through God, and they make peace with the path that God has chosen for them.
Would you recommend this trip to others?
Absolutely! 100%! If you ever have the opportunity to travel and leave the country, do it. It is good for your soul and spirit to see a different culture and gain a new perspective on life!
What’s next for Branden DeFilippo?
Next, I will be competing in the USA Surf Championships in San Clemente, California! It’s an amateur contest, but it’s important to many surfers. I’m really excited to compete and represent my home town of Merritt Island Florida. My mindset is always to go out, have fun, and enjoy what I am doing. That kind of goes for anything in this world–the recipe to success is to just have fun. Just do you’re thang!
Good luck, Branden!