Erika Valverde, A Surfer with Heart November 13 2015
Erika with Roger Chun at last year's "huelga" in San Jose
Team Rider Erika Valverde, age 27
Hometown from Playa Dominicalito, Costa Rica
Homebreak Playa Hermosa, CR
Favorite Wave Matapalo
Occupation Owner, Boholand Store, Co-owner Bowies Point Restaurant
Surfer Stance Regular (Natural)
Sponsors Pura Vida Board Gear - Golden Girls Swimwear - Bowies Point
When I'm Not Surfing I Like To:
Hang out with my dogs on the beach, help animals in need, assist customers in my store Boholand, and enjoy being here at Bowies Point.
A Proud Surfing Moment Second place finish at a National surf contest at Playa Santa Teresa.
Erika carving a heart at Bowies Point in Playa Hermosa. Photo:Jalil El Harrar
There is a lot of strength and compassion built into the petite frame of Erika Valverde. A passionate surfer for more than fourteen years, Erika has a heart for helping animals in need and serving the community. Originally from the small beautiful town of Playa Dominicalito, Erika now enjoys the waves in front of Bowies Point, in Playa Hermosa, nicknamed after the restaurant she helps run with boyfriend and partner, Roger Chun. This past year she also realized a dream in opening her own boutique/surf shop in Playa Hermosa called Boho Land Store, where she has her own line of clothing ("bohemiam but beach style"), bikinis, surf accessories and jewelry.
In front of Boho Land Store. Photo by Taylar Munn/Kook World Productions.
Last year, Erika organized a strike,"una huelga," against the mistreatment of animals. The event was held in San Jose and over 3000 people participated. The goal was to show government officials the need to put laws in place that will penalize offenders with a fine or even jail time. "I've always liked to help animals," says Erika. "They are harmless. If we don't help them, who will?" Currently, Erika and Roger have donation boxes at Bowies Point to collect funds for a project led by Dr. Roger Alfaro, a veterinarian who is remodeling an old house in nearby Parrita to offer free castrations as well as super cheap consultations for people who just can't afford the expenses.
On Monday, November 16th, Erika will leave for a trip to the United States for the first time. "I'm so excited to have the opportunity to go to California. I'd love the experience of surfing Trestles in San Clemente. I want to see Malibu Beach, visit Los Angeles and explore the area of Santa Cruz." she says smiling.
For the coming year, two goals Erika has are to continue to grow Boho Land Store and compete in more surf contests nationally.
Stop by and see her when you are in the Hermosa area! If she is not surfing, you can find her at Boho Land or at Bowies Point Restaurant with Roger. One thing you can be sure of is being greeted with a genuine smile and having some of her quiet, subtle stoke for life rub off on you.
Buen viaje, Erika!! Hasta pronto.
Photos provided courtesy of Erika and Pura Vida Board Gear where not otherwise noted.
Kate is the owner of Pura Vida Board Gear, a surf brand that promotes surf and a quality, positive lifestyle. Currently living near Playa Jacó, Costa Rica. she enjoys connecting with the culture and diversity of the community. Connect with her on instagram @puravidaboardgear Find Pura Vida Board Gear on Facebook. Subscribe to email list here. Photo: Jorge A. Russell, Playa Jaco