Pura Tortillas

We want to start this post by highlighting someone in our community that inspires us.
Friends … meet Pablo Cruz.

Watching Pablo surf gives fresh meaning to that line from Walt Whitman’s poem, “I too am not a bit tamed . . . I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.” (I never knew what a “barbaric yawp” actually sounded like until I met this guy.) Even on cold, windy days, Pablo is always stoked to paddle out in search of “la ola grande” or a “happy wipeout day.” He brings the kind of energy that changes the atmosphere of a lineup because people immediately recognize it’s authentic.

But it’s not just Pablo’s stoke that inspires us. He also has a rad story—a small piece of which I get to share here. Like many kids in Mexico, Pablo grew up in a casa hogar (the common name for orphanage or children’s home). When he was nine, Pablo got connected with a San Diego based nonprofit called Out of the Boat Swim who taught him how to swim and surf. Through his teenage years, Pablo built close relationships with the OBS leaders and discovered his passion for the ocean. Now a young adult, Pablo volunteers his time as a surf instructor to teach and empower other young people through doing what he loves.

Hanging out with Pablo gets us excited about the ways Aleph can inspire youth in our community through activities like surfing and rock climbing. It also gets us thinking about the impact that folks like Pablo can make in their own communities and beyond just by using their gifts and passions to show the way for others.

The start of 2022 has brought mountains and valleys. We’ve made new friends and deepened existing relationships. There have also been some hard lessons along the way. Sadly, we were unable to move forward with our winter plan to build a rock wall in the Zona youth building. That door closed unexpectedly, leading us to take a step back from the project, but we have not lost the vision of creating a climbing area for youth in the community to play and connect. We are praying and trusting God will lead us to the right space at the right time. At present our focus remains on building relationships and creating joy-filled experiences for youth outdoors. The months since our last update have been full of adventures. In an effort to keep things brief, here are some highlights:

A February hike up one of our coastal mountains with Casa Hogar Cuidad de Refugio.
(Sadly, we can’t share photos of these kids’ faces due to privacy protection laws)

Celebrating Earth Day 2022 with a beach cleanup at Playa La Misión.

Climbing sessions with La Misión youth at our local crag are always a highlight! We also made a few rainy day trips to a small gym in Ensenada called Escalada Sin Limites, run by our new friend Iván.

Afternoon hikes on the mesa, enjoying the desert flowers

And as of April, surf is back in session!

As summer approaches, we are excited for what the rest of 2022 will bring. We look forward to continuing to build relationships and develop our existing programs as well as pilot some trips with new partners, which we’ll probably get to share in the next update.

Huge thanks to everyone who has come alongside to support and make this work possible! In the words of Pablo, “pura vida … pura tortillas

Dustin & Jess

We are looking to expand our capacity to run
programs. If you know of an organization or
church who might be interested in partnering
financially, we would love to connect!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s