Beyond the Surface International is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit working with rural students from small-scale fishing villages using Positive Youth Development tools like surfing, transmedia storytelling, and mindfulness for young learners to grow up resilient and promote social-ecological wellbeing for healthy oceans and people. Play. Storytelling. Compassion. Science.
Ocean conservation is a social, racial, and climate justice issue. We leverage surfing as a powerful relationship-building tool with ourselves, our peers, and our surroundings. Surfing cultivates both inner and outer strength and engages local youth from small-scale fishing villages as stewards for their aquatic environments, cultural heritage and wellbeing. We facilitate participatory audiovisual workshops for youth to use their voices to celebrate their community’s strengths, identify changes, daylight struggles, and co-create potential solutions. We also facilitate mindfulness trainings as an approach to nonviolent communication. Through partnerships, we work to implement solutions together for healthy, happy coastal communities and small-scale fisheries.
The playful mediums we use to address social and ecological challenges impacting small-scale fishing villages along the coastlines and aquatic ecosystems. We provide the tools and a safe-space for local kids and their communities to share their perspectives with the world. We work relentlessly for local voices - those dependent on healthy seas and sustainable fisheries - to be represented in global discussions that determine our ocean’s future - their future and our collective fate on this planet.
Participatory media workshops focus on cultural heritage, environmental
education and social justice.
Surf sessions and swim lessons to build relationships, cultivate trust and foster ocean literacy.
Yoga, meditation and awareness-based practices to enable youth with alternatives to aggression and violent conflicts.
When a small-scale fishing community coordinates and co-designs a project utilizing high impact public communication campaigns, water sports, and nonviolent contemplative practices to address social injustices and environmental discrimination head on - that's a toolbox. We collaborate with young people and their fishing villages to identify, articulate, and address challenges that jeopardize their sustainable futures and all our fates on planet Earth.
Over the last ten years, we've partnered with vulnerable coastal communities in countries from Jamaica to India experiencing the affects of climate change, marine degradation, and overdevelopment. We believe in the power of play, nonviolent communication, and self-awareness as critical tools to enable youth with the aptitude to be advocates for their human rights for a healthy environment and their well-being. We strive to provide an outlet for young people to embrace their unique abilities, channel frustrations into direct positive actions, and share their indispensable voices with the world.
We look at the relationship between fisheries and social wellbeing, with a focus on human security. How does climate change, marine degradation, and the race to fish influence maritime insecurities, criminal syndicates, and violent extremism specifically in vulnerable small-scale fishing villages. Our intervention research focuses on engaging local residents, especially young people, in designing viable, rooted plans of action for their community's sustainability and wellbeing.
Support us by making a one-time donation to fund our future workshops and help us reach more vulnerable coastal communities. Beyond the Surface International is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and your donation is tax-deductible within the guidelines of U.S. law.