Listening to Luis Valerio speak about kitesurfing makes you want to get in touch with nature. With almost 10 years of experience in this extreme yet safe sport that is sensitive and radiates peace, he defines the pastime as “magical”. And this is his explanation: “Kitesurfing is magical, practicing it is like a miracle that connects us with our environment, it makes life better and happier,” he affirms, with confidence.
El Cuyo is a paradise in Yucatán that is perfect to practice this discipline, which has changed the lives of many in this small fishing village. Kitesurfing has become a favorite activity in the community and in this article, we tell you why.
Luis is Yucatecan and was born 28 years ago in the municipality of Tizimín. However, he made and still makes all his life memories in El Cuyo, a fishing community of approximately 3,000 inhabitants, which, with its many natural wonders, is located within the Ría Lagartos biosphere. Besides its friendly people and delicious seafood, El Cuyo has one of the best beaches in México and the world for kitesurfing.
And what is kitesurfing? Luis defines it as follows: “It’s an extreme yet very safe sport that uses the natural elements of wind and water, along with some special equipment. The most important piece of kit is the kite which is connected directly to the kitesurfer’s body, creating a traction force that allows them to surf the waves,” he explains.
We said that, for Luis, kitesurfing is a type of magic that starts from the moment you find yourself on the beach. “When the kite takes flight, you come into contact with the wind and water, you begin to glide and you feel at one with nature. Also, kitesurfing allows you to fly, the adrenaline that runs through your veins is incredible because it makes you see things from a different point of view and it sensitizes you to take care of nature,” he tells us.
Kitesurfing is also ideal for all ages, from children as young as nine years old to seniors, as long as they are in good physical condition. Luis explains that when people go kitesurfing, all parts of the body are at work and, above all else, the body’s senses are heightened.
“You forget about everything, you disconnect from stress and connect with your environment. And that heals many things,” he says, without fear of being wrong.
And if you add community outreach to this, something that helps the other inhabitants of this Yucatecan fishing village, the value of kitesurfing becomes almost infinite. In 2015, Luis and some of his friends founded “El Cuyo Kite School,” a place for learning not just about sports, but about life. It’s here where many children and young people – some in precarious situations – not only “learn” to kitesurf, they practice it, compete, give lessons to visitors, and have managed to get ahead in life with this wonderful profession that brings together the body and mind.
Luis explains it this way: “Thanks to Humberto Ramírez, who helped us get started in the world of kitesurfing, a group of friends and I formed the school and began to teach the boys and girls in the community. Since we didn’t have enough equipment, we received donations or shared what we did have. For almost a decade we have taught several generations of children and young people to kitesurf, what we do is becoming more productive and I love that. Currently, I run the school alone, but other schools in El Cuyo have also started to pop up. We are diversifying and that’s a good thing,” he says.
This is also a chain reaction. The kids who learnt are now instructors who teach the sport to other kids and they will also be like them in the future. Luis says that at present there are more boys who practice kitesurfing, although there is a 15-year-old girl. “This community is still very traditional and some fathers don’t let their daughters practice this discipline. But I’m sure that will change with time,” he predicts.
National and international visitors also love kitesurfing, so they come to Luis’ school to learn.
“El Cuyo became known for kitesurfing. People who are interested in learning and want to have the experience seek us out. For us it’s a pleasure to be able to share our favorite hobby. For those who decide to discover the sport, we organize three courses following a methodology of three hours each, divided into three days. You start with a basic course, move on to the intermediate course, and then finish with the full course. We focus on providing the best experience possible and the idea is that, in these three days, the student learns quickly and enjoys kitesurfing to the fullest,” he explains.
And as the kitesurfing community of El Cuyo has no permanent home, they dream of soon establishing a foundation. “We want to get support so that the kids can learn to speak better English, receive more training, and so that we can buy more equipment for them. I’m optimistic that it will happen soon,” he hopes.
Luis invites us all to live the kitesurfing experience in El Cuyo. You can contact “El Cuyo Kite School” through their social networks on Facebook and Instagram, through the website www.elcuyokiteschool.com or by calling their mobile line at Cel. 9858 58 23 57. Dare to transform your life with kitesurfing.
Editorial by Cecilia García Olivieri
Writer and reporter
Photography by El Cuyo Kite School for use in Yucatán Today.
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