Inspiring a global response that eliminates the barriers preventing a diversity of youth from a personal relation with the ocean and with one another
The Wahine Project was created in 2010 as an effort to reach young girls around the world who would otherwise not have access to the resources that would allow them to surf. Whether geographical, financial or lack of opportunity, The Wahine Project seeks to break down the barriers that prevent the participation of youth in ocean sports and provide them the
opportunity to not only become proficient waterhumans but as a result of this relationship, increase their awareness to the vast possibilities of a future that will amplify their voice in climate change, environmental justice and give them a sense of social responsibility that the ocean uniquely provides.
In 2015 we began a partnership with Explore Corps that offers programming for Boys. To support the diversity of all youth in a Safe Space environment we encourage them to choose the program that is the most comfortable for them to participate in or take advantage of
programs that are co-ed.
We do not have gender restrictions in any of our programs and support the gender expansiveness of each of our participants. We celebrate diversity and our hope is to inspire our participants to live out their healthiest and fullest lives and choose the program that will best support them in community.
Allow a diversity of youth access to ocean sports who would otherwise
not have the opportunity.
Focus on ocean safety and ocean recreation.
Provide education on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle thru exercise
and good nutrition.
Promote positive self esteem thru the participation of sports
Develop a sense of social responsibility and environmental stewardship.
Our Founding Director Dionne Ybarra is a Mexican American woman born and raised in a marginalized neighborhood in East Salinas, California.
The idea for The Wahine Project presented itself when as an adult she took up surfing
and it transformed her life. She has since sought to share the liberating and empowering
experience of a relationship with the ocean.
Dionne has come to the understanding that more time in the ocean becomes a powerful
vehicle for connecting youth to their own self-empowerment as well as a way to connect
diverse communities to environment, ocean and with one another. She created The
Wahine project to eliminate the barriers that may get in the way of those relationships
and provide opportunities for them to grow.