East LA Latinas create surfing community for Latinos

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Surfers crowd the beaches, especially in the winter, when the tide is high and the waves are even bigger.

Three specific surfers, with roots in East Los Angeles, created a surf camp to fill a gap in both the surfing and their local community.

Giselle Carrillo, Vanessa Yeager, and Cassie Comley started Courage Camps to create a Latino surf community in Southern California and offer free lessons to break the stigma of surfing.

Vanessa Yaeger is a P.E. teacher in Orange County and the main surfing instructor for the camp.

Weekend mornings and on some days before work, she's catching waves by Blackies at Newport Beach.

Dr. Cassie Comley studied Mexican American women surfers for her doctorate research in Sociology and is taking her research from paper to the water.

Giselle Carrillo is the face behind the Courage Camps and Latinx Surf Club social media accounts and the one who originally came up with the idea.

She noticed how there weren't many surfers that looked like her and wanted to share her experience with others like her.

The idea behind courage camps was not only to bridge a gap with the Latino community but to teach students about courage and conquering fears in the water, just like Carrillo learned through surfing.

"I learned about fear in the ocean," Carrillo said, "And to me, courage is acknowledging the fear and relaxing into it, and I think surfing teaches you that."

INSTAGRAM: @couragecamps
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