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Think Costa Rica, think shred holiday haven but what about the girls who actually live there, do they get to share in that stoke? Well yeah thanks to Adilia Zuniga Diaz many do, here's her story

Interview by Sophie Everard

I've wanted to learn to surf since I was a little girl. At a very young age I remember going to the beach with my father and brothers and watching them surf and fish. My oldest brother was one of the first surfers in Playa Guiones and I remember wanting so badly to be able to surf. I guess my desire to surf comes from my love for the sea and the beautiful setting surrounding surfing. I have always felt completely free at the beach and in the ocean.

When I started surfing there was only one other local girl from Nosara that surfed. It was very difficult for girls to break into a sport that my male counterparts considered to be a sport for the "guys". My old brother is a great guy and a good surfer but when I was a little girl he wanted nothing to do with taking his skinny sisters to the beach to learn to surf.

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The ocean gives me a sense of peace that is very addictive. I feel so free and connected with nature when I am in the water paddling, feeling the ocean breezes and surrounded by the sea life. Sometimes I think I must have been a crab or some form of marine life in a previous life because I definitely feel an enter calmness when I am in or near the ocean.

My favourite place to surf is Playa Guiones, Nosara. At Playa Guiones we have waves all the time, both small and big. I think the consistency of my home break is something very unique and special. Plus the natural beauty one experiences when sitting in the line-up is amazing. The local surfers all work very hard to maintain and improve the beach by planting trees and regularly cleaning up the trash. And of course all the "Pura Vida" vibe is very much alive with the surfers at Playa Guiones.

Growing up in Nosara was very special. Nosara was a very simple small town where everyone knew each other. Life was simple but a very good place to be raised. We ate mostly organic foods grown on the surrounding farms.

ADILIA ROCA

I guess I love Nosara for the amazing tranquillity one feels, also I love the fact the community lives and breathes sustainability. The people of Nosara love nature and believe in protecting it at all costs. On a more personal level I love rolling out of bed, having a cup of coffee some fresh fruit and hitting the beach knowing the waves will be great and the setting is breathtaking.

If you stop and think about it our most important natural resource is the environment. We Costa Ricans love our country and recognise that the only way to keep it like we like it is to protect every living animal and plant that exist in our country. Sometimes I hear foreigners somewhat shocked at how militant the laws in Costa Rica are towards anyone or corporation that does not protect the environment. We Costa Ricans really strive to live a sustainable lifestyle, knowing that the environment once destroyed is not replaceable.

Costa Rica has multiple governmental agencies that work very hard to enforce the laws. But the school system from kindergarten teaches the value of protecting plant and animals or in general our environment. The Costa Rican society believes in the concept of protecting the environment. Here in Costa Rica we are not just giving lip service to the concept as many of the more industrialised countries are doing.

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I have been blessed in that I was able to attend one of the most prestigious universities in Costa Rica. After finishing my degree in Business Administration I knew I did not want to just get a 9-5 job. I knew I wanted to give back to the community and was very aware surfing had become much more than just a sport to me. At that point I decided to found Nosara Ticas Surf Club, a Surf Club where the local girls could learn to surf at "no cost "to them in a safe protected environment. Weekly the Club meets at Playa Guiones where professional coaches help the girls learn the basic core skills. I was trying to learn to surf in an environment that was not conducive for girls to learn to surf.

I have so many big dreams for the Nosara Ticas Surf Club. As a co-founder and Director of an all-girls Surf and Yoga Retreat, Surf Bikini Retreat -. Nosara. I would like be able to integrate on a more regular bases the guests from Surf Bikini Retreat with the Nosara Ticas Surf Club girls. The times I have been able to have the Retreat's guests spend time with the Club's girls surfing, taking day surf trips or just dining out has been an extremely positive fun experience for everyone. I find this type of cultural interexchanges between the girls so important for both the Surf Bikini Retreat guests and Nosara Ticas Surf Club girls because it gives them a close up opportunity to get to know and better understand each others' interesting similarities and differences.

I love people and I think the more we spend time with people from different backgrounds, languages we learn to appreciate them for what they are. In my small way I want to try and make the world a more loving place. I know when I first founded Surf Bikini Retreat -Nosara and The Nosara Ticas Surf Club I thought there were just too many unsurmountable obstacles. But I recall remembering how strong my passion for surfing is and that drove me to work harder. I have learned no matter how small or big your dream do not let anyone try and tell you you cannot do it.

When I am not surfing I love to spend time with my family. I have a 6 year old daughter that loves the ocean , and nature in general . We spend a lot of quality time at the beach. We as a family also travel quite a bit. I love seeing and experiencing different cultures, foods, surf breaks , etc...

Any girl regardless of age is always welcome to come visit us at Surf Bikini Retreat and learn to surf , do yoga ,and really get to know the locals and the real Costa Rica. Pura Vida !!!!!!!!!!

Read more this is me interviews here and for more on the Surf Bikini Nosara Retreat