Why we do what we do
Hope Corps is a subsidiary of Surf For Life that allows us to broaden the geographical scope of our mission, while maintaining the integrity of our original community-development based model.
In 2008, Hope Corps co-founders Alex Fang and Jonathan Sofer ventured on several surf trips to Central America. They saw the apparent need for sustainable development work in these incredible destinations in order to better handle the changing social, environment, and economic landscapes that come with tourism. From here, the vision for Surf For Life was born – an organization that would bring hundreds of people to far off destinations to explore a new culture, and to do something meaningful to positively impact that community.
Since 2008, the original vision of Surf For Life has remained, but the communities we reach through our work are no longer limited to coastal regions, and that is why we created Hope Corps.
As travelers, we are explorers by nature. We are often times the first point of foreign contact in these rapidly developing communities. This affords us an opportunity to affect positive change. The model we use to achieve this goal is through community-based development. We see community-based development as a model which maximizes the participation of all community members in all stages of a certain project. This is the ‘how’ we do what we do. Important and very different than the ‘why’. We all want to do good, but doing good right is a long-term investment that we make in every community we work in with local participation being the key component.
Today, Hope Corps and Surf For Life are both registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations that sponsor high-impact, sustainable development projects in underserved communities. We design infrastructure projects to alleviate the area’s most pressing needs as identified by the local stakeholders. Our success comes from engaging passionate, like-minded organizations and volunteers to directly support the realization of our projects.
We offer a unique opportunity for people to experience a new and altruistic kind of travel that takes individual vacation to the next level. Our trips are open to anyone who wants to travel and lend a helping hand. The common point of interest of all our volunteers is their willingness to make a difference and we are so thankful for them for sharing their time and energy to contribute to our mission.
"We had an AMAZING time down in Nicaragua. I have been encouraging my colleagues at work to join different projects and so far have been able to convince five! Thank YOU for making these projects happen!"
- Pablo, Salinas Elementary School volunteer, Nicaragua 2014
"Our time there was truly life changing (we're even talking about where we want to go next year as a family) and we have you to thank for that."
- Mike, El Cuco Footbridge volunteer, El Salvador 2013
"I was a little hesitant about signing up for this trip at first, but it has turned out to be such an amazing experience. I am so happy I took a leap of faith... The people here are wonderful; all so kind and friendly. The beach is beautiful, the culture is fascinating. I feel like I learned so much and had an experience that I could never have had anywhere else."
- Laura, Playa Gigante Health Center volunteer, Nicaragua 2013
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Past Trips Gallery
"Our time there was truly life changing (we're even talking about where we want to go next year as a family) and we have you to thank for that. I proudly wear my SFL T-Shirt around town, and it's caused me to get some questions while running my errands at the local stores. I talk up the experience whenever/wherever I can. Thanks again for giving us the opportunity to join your merry band of surfers to help make the world a better place. The experience made us better for having participated."--Monthei Family, El Salvador Bridge Project, Spring 2013
"We had an AMAZING time down in Nicaragua. I have been encouraging my colleagues at work to join different project and so far was able to convince around 5! Our trip leader and the staff at the host hotel were extremely helpful and organized as well as the workers who helped us at the school.Thank YOU for making these projects happen!" --Pablo, Southern Nicaragua Preschool, Spring 2014
"I am so grateful that an organization like this exists & for all those who supported me on my trips.The Surf For Life trips I went on to Costa Rica & Nicaragua were truly unforgettable. After laying down the groundwork (quite literally mixing & laying cement) for a high school & meeting the children of Manzanillo, Nicaragua, it was a gratifying moment to hear that the school is up and running now!"--Polly, Costa Rica Community Center, Fall 2012 AND Nicaragua High School, Spring 2013
"I can't even begin to describe how much fun I had on this trip. I think the stars aligned in a lot of ways for our group, and we all had an amazing experience in Las Salinas!"--Nick, Southern Nicaragua Preschool, Spring 2014
"I had beyond an amazing time on the trip!!! Everyone involved were incredible. I can't say enough."--Daniel, Northern Nicarauga Elementary School, Spring 2014
"This was honestly one of the best trips I've been on, we maxed out each day, couldn't have fit more in if we tried. The Las Salinas community is awesome and Magnific Rock is a super chill, friendly place to stay. Thanks for making it all possible!"--Jesse, Southern Nicaragua Preschool, Spring 2014
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