Sharing waves & cultures

Rugby player Mikaere Ngamotu came to Oasis from New Zealand to learn Spanish and surfing, and taught us a lot about his Maori roots in return!

On the final night of his trip to Puerto Escondido, the Oasis family all gathered together at La Barca Surfhouse where Mikaere kicked off the fun night of coaching and socializing by performing a traditional Maori whaikōrero (speech) and haka for everyone. Before commencing, Mikaere explained the origins of the haka, it´s cultural significance, and how it has evolved over many years from representing intimidation to a sign of respect and admiration.

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Hakas were first created and performed on the battlefield, as a war dance between clashing Maori tribes. They sought to intimidate and scare their opponents through aggressive facial expressions, body movements, grunts, and cries all performed in precise rhythm and unity. They also believed they were calling upon the God of War to protect them during battle.

Over time, the haka evolved and took on a new meaning of pride, community strength and means of showing respect. Within New Zealand, the haka is typically performed at the start of major national events (particularly rugby matches), as well as during occasions of personal importance such as weddings, funerals, or in the presence of special guests.

For most, Mikaere´s performance was the first exposure to Maori culture so it was a special experience that was enjoyed by all. Chatting with another one of our students afterwards, she talked of how great it was to have such an open exchange of cultures with mutual respect and appreciation. One of the things that makes Puerto Escondido unique is that there is so much diversity in such a small community, which you´ll likely begin to notice as soon as you meet all of the team here at Oasis. Come be part of our family and share your culture with us too!

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Memories made together last a life time… family vacation experience.

Andrea, Ross, and their 4 year old son Nalu came to see us from the renowned ski-resort town of Tahoe, California and quickly became part of the Oasis family.

Chatting with Andrea, she gave me a snapshot of life back home (where at the time of our poolside conversation, it had just snowed 11 inches). Both her and husband Ross work full-time, her as a doctor at a community clinic and Ross for a water company. Both active, outdoor-enthusiasts and dedicated snowboarders, they came to Oasis ready to tackle surfing.

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This was Andrea and Ross´s first big trip with their young son without any accompanying family members so it was a little daunting at first, but Oasis arranged a nanny for Nalu who helped to lighten the load.

´´It was a game-changer, we will never travel any other way from now on. Knowing Nalu was safe and happy really allowed me and my husband to relax, focus on our surfing and Spanish classes, and even have a night to ourselves to go for a nice dinner. We are so grateful Oasis arranged such great care for our son´´ Andrea explained.

The family had traveled to other parts of Mexico previously, and Andrea raved about how safe she felt in Puerto Escondido and the convenience of the Oasis and La Barca location. She also noticed how much cleaner and well-maintained Puerto was compared with other beach towns in Mexico they had been to, but at the same time, loved how much local culture was still present here.

As for their Oasis experience, the friendliness and professionalism of all of the staff and instructors really stood out for the family as well as the fact that everyone was always on-time and well-organized. Andrea said ´´Oasis made me feel like a princess; we would show up and our boards would be waxed, loaded on the truck, and all of the instructors enthusiastic and ready to go. I caught the best wave of my life and the whole thing was captured by the Oasis photographer on the beach, which made it even better.´´

Their only complaint was that they couldn´t stay longer. Even after 17 days they felt like they were just getting into the swing of things, so next year they are hoping to return for 3 months and really settling into Puerto life while working to further improve their surfing and Spanish skills. We sure hope so, it is going to be awfully quiet around here when Nalu leaves!

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page

Getting to know Thijs…

Originally from the Netherlands, 28 year old Thijs (pronounced ´Tys´) arrived to Mexico from his current home in San Francisco.

He first started surfing in Bali years ago and has been traveling the world on surf trips ever since, so when some friends decided to tie the knot in Oaxaca City it seemed like the perfect excuse to come check out the waves in Puerto Escondido at the same time.

Although always enjoying the standard surf camp experience of his previous trips, Thijs was ready to try something different and the Oasis homestay program caught his attention.

IMG-20171109-WA0033Chatting with Thijs on the final day of his trip, it was very obvious that he was happy with his decision. The combination of 1-1 instruction at the Oasis language school with Spanish immersion during his homestay dramatically increased his fluency in a short amount of time. When asked about his favorite part of his overall trip to Puerto, it was the Sunday afternoon he went to a big gathering with relatives of his homestay family. Several generations of family and friends played volleyball on the beach, swam in the ocean, and shared hours of stories and laughs over mezcal and delicious homemade Mexican food. He felt like he was really part of something special, and experiencing what it was like to be a true Puerto local. The other highlight was Dia de los Muertos. Arriving to Mexico just in time for one of our biggest cultural holidays, Thijs got a real taste of authentic celebrations and traditions.

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Now let´s talk surfing. Initially skeptical about whether or not he still needed lessons, Oasis paired him with an instructor of his own who worked on developing more advanced techniques and transitioning to smaller, more high-performance style surfboards. Thijs enjoyed the overall focus on individual students and how well the instructors catered to varying ability levels within the group.

Thijs is taking off this afternoon to Oaxaca City for wedding celebrations and sightseeing, and then it´s back to work on Monday morning. We´ll miss having him here as part of our Oasis family, but he ensures us he is most definitely coming back!

Surf trip Barra de la Cruz, an unforgettable experience

The Surf Trip to Barra de la Cruz was, without a doubt, beyond our expectations. The waves were amazing and the group was so friendly that it felt like surfing with your own buddies.

The trip was meant to start on Monday, July 31st, but that day mother nature decided to give us one of the biggest swells of the year. The WSL ran the Big Wave Puerto Challenge 2017 that day, so we all agreed to stay and enjoy the event and the big waves show.

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On Wednesday August 2nd, we were ready to leave. We met at Oasis at 6am, pack the surfboard, bagpacks, coolers and many other things that we (organizers) packed with the intention of making our stay more comfortable 🙂 , and at 6:30 am we were finally on our way south.

The day was cloudy and windy and our expectations of finding Barra on one of its epic days, slowly started to vanish. Despite the weather conditions, the group was in great spirits. Some of the boys had left families and wives behind looking for four full days of surf and complete relaxation and we were only 2 hours away from the dream beach.

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We arrived in Barra at 9am and doña Blanca, the landlord, had prepared us a delicious traditional breakfast with home made tortillas, organic coffee from the local plantations, fruits, eggs, cereal and yogurt. So after a big meal and settling in our rooms, we headed down to the beach. Continue reading Surf trip Barra de la Cruz, an unforgettable experience

Weekend trip to the Magic Town – San Jose del Pacifico

San Jose del Pacifico is a beautiful hillside town located high in the mountains, about 2440 meters above sea level. The town is surrounded by ancient trees, clouds and pure water. The town offers amazing panoramic views of the Oaxacan Southern Sierra.

San José del Pacífico is a great place to go for a stroll around the woods. This town is also famous for its wild mushrooms (particularly of the magic variety) and the natural herbs used for natural medicine. There are several restaurants and cabañas as well as a few shops and cafes.

OUR TRIP

Our trip will start on Saturday, at noon. We will leave from Oasis to San Jose del Pacifico, arriving approximately around 4 pm to San Jose. Once we arrive, we will have time to settle in a nice and small cabaña, with a fire place in the center. After settling down we will have time to walk around and get to know the town. There are very nice small coffee shops to enjoy a delicious hot chocolate overseeing the mountains. After sunset we will gather at one of the cabañas to cook, enjoy the fireplace, listen to music while we prepare dinner with our special chef J. Dinner will be a delicious surprise, jeje…

The following morning we will have breakfast in a small café and organize a morning walking tour through the woods. At 11am, those interested may also participate in the traditional temazcal.

We will make the check out from the cabaña at 12pm, have something to eat and head down to Puerto after that, arriving around 6pm.

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ANCIENT TRADITIONAL TEMAZCAL

Traditionally, in our ancient culture, the Temazcal was taken with healing purpose.

The heart of temazcal is entry into a dark chamber filled with steam and select aromatic plants and herbs, and being carefully guided through ritual stages by one who has learned function, effect and procedure through years of training.

Historically, many societies have considered sweating as being both therapeutic and healing, as sweating removes toxins. In a sweat bath where rocks are heated and water is poured over them, an abundance of negative ions is released into the air, combating fatigue and tenseness.

The Trip includes:

Transportation to San Jose

Dinner on Saturday night

Walking morning trip on Sunday

Accommodation arrangements – booking (this will be a shared cabaña, for 4 people, with fireplace and private bathroom)

Cost per person 1000$ MXN (excluding The Temazcal and additional meals other than Saturday Dinner)

More than 10 years providing professional, high-quality surf and spanish lessons at an affordable rate. Best learning experience in Mexico !