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Hispaniola humanitarian surf trip to aid Haitian refugees

Haitian migrant being fed in the batey




Help Hispaniola & Hait1:

Surfers organise surf-trip working with Batey Relief Alliance (BRA)

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 15 January 2005: - - On February 11, 2005, four women surfers will embark on a surf trip with a humanitarian cause. Unlike many surf trips that focus only on the surf and ignore the local community, this trip will lead the surfers beyond the waves and into the heart of the region and its culture. Traveling to the surf-rich island of Hispaniola (home of Dominican Republic and Haiti), the group will be working with the Batey Relief Alliance (BRA) to deliver much-needed supplies to downtrodden Haitian refugees left in the wake of the country’s civil unrest. The group is asking for any assistance the surf industry and others can offer. Such efforts will aid a community in the heart of a popular surf destination frequented by surfers worldwide.

"This is a unique opportunity for us as individual surfers and as an industry as a whole," said Karin Moran, project leader,and Op team rider. "We have the chance to dispel the stereotype of the traveling surfer that comes and takes, and doesn't give back. Surfers are a caring and sensitive breed, it is our hope to set the precedence that surfers can travel to a surf destination, sample the area’s waves and culture and have a positive impact on the local community."

The group will include top women surfers Karin Moran (San Clemente, CA) Kristy Murphy (Jupiter, FL), Falina Spires (Volusia, FL), Kyla Langen (Carlsbad, CA), and local Dominican surfer, Carolina Gutierrez. Beginning December 10, 2004 and ending January 31, 2004 the group will be accepting monetary donations, clothing, shoes, medical supplies, school supplies and other appropriate items. The girls have partnered with the BRA (www.bateyrelief.org) who will ensure the items are distributed to the proper needy communities and families during the trip.

"Op's support of its team and this project is essential to our involvement and commitment to our industry and those who are affected by it. We are excited to be part of this trip and will continue to give back to the communities that give so much to all who enjoy the ocean," said Todd Juneau, Op’s Marketing Director.

"Batey" communities are precariously built government quarters where impoverished Dominicans and Haitians live. These slums exist on the frontier zones between the two countries. Primarily, inhabitants are sugar cane laborers and their families who are living in impoverished conditions. Through the BRA, the girls will meet and speak with the people as they deliver much needed supplies. Bateys are restricted areas due to hazards and dangerous living situations and are only accessible with the proper support of organizations such as BRA.

The BRA operates as a not-for-profit, non-political, humanitarian aid entity uniting grassroots groups, faith-based organizations, government agencies, universities and the international community in a strategic partnership to help create a productive and self-sufficient environment, through health care and development programs, for economically disadvantaged children and their families in the Caribbean.

Famous for its clear blue water and warm waves, the Caribbean boasts some of the best tropical surf in the world. Every year thousands of surfers enjoy the fruits of the Caribbean; from the Barbados to the Dominican Republic, to Costa Rica. Caribbean locals are warm, outgoing and always stoked to meet traveling surfers.

If you are interested in making a tax-deductible donation to the cause, please contact Karin Moran at 949.291.4228 or at OneLoveDominicanRepublic@yahoo.com  You can also visit: www.bateyrelief.org  

All supplies and/or monetary donations can be sent to: 1001 Avenida Pico Suite C, PMB 452, San Clemente, CA 92673. All checks or money orders must be made payable to BRA, Inc. Please reference "One Love" in the memo line.

www.bateyrelief.org  

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