Monday, 26 September 2022


In Summer of 2018, The Inertia traveled to El Salvador with Kassia Meador, Leah Dawson, and Lola Mignot, three outstanding women who are inspiring the next generation of ocean lovers through their alternative approach to both surfing and life. Each has developed a strong voice as a leader in surfing, and managed to do so on her own terms. They ride the boards they want, spearhead projects that speak to their passions, and keep their eyes peeled for interesting ways to engage that fascinating nexus where surfing and the rest of the world collide.

We wanted to better understand each woman’s approach to living a fulfilling life and to meaningfully engage with El Salvador’s beautiful culture.

While there, we had the good fortune of meeting Sindy Portillo, a standout surfer at Las Flores, one of El Salvador’s best waves. And as it turns out, Sindy is the only local girl who surfs in her town.

“For many, it’s difficult to be a woman in El Salvador,” Sindy told us. “Women work and struggle to make a living. It’s not easy most of the time. My dream is to be a longboard champion and represent El Salvador and Las Flores all of the time.”

“Pretty much on the first day we met Sindy out in the water,” said Dawson. “She had the biggest smile on her face. You couldn’t not see her. We were communicating back and forth really finding out about women and life in El Salvador and by day three offour of our trip we realized that Sindy was the purpose of our trip.”

In that spirit, we decided to work together to make Sindy's dream come true. We've put together a GoFundMe that, if successful, will enable Portillo to represent El Salvador alongside the film's stars in the annual Mexi-Log Fest. It will also help support the burgeoning community of female surfers in her country.

“The seed is planted,” said Meador. “Now it’s just going to sprout.”

In Alternativa, Dawson, Meador, and Mignot share their perspectives as leaders in the surf community and the exciting opportunity ahead of them.

“We’re in a very powerful time in history,” said Dawson. “I’ve felt for a long time that the women’s story has been a bit misguided by the men that have run the surf industry. I feel like for myself, I have a duty to nurture our culture because I love it so much. Because it’s given me so much happiness and opportunity throughout my life that I feel like a mother. I want to be a mother of our surf culture, because we need as many mothers as we can get.”

Watch the Alternativa in its entirety right here, right now, and check out the GoFundMe we created to help make Sindy's dream (and our intention to support the burgeoning women's surf community in El Salvador) come true.

Sindy's GoFundMe:

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