GoPro for a Cause Spotlight: San Skate
GoPro for A Cause is so proud to support San Skate and is grateful to GoPro Family Member, Gonzalo Gonzales De Vega for his work bringing this story to life. Investing in our next generation is central to the work we want to do in this world. The following words are by Gonzalo. We’ll let him take it from here.
Skateboarding - It’s not just a hobby. This is just one of the mottos that San Skate—a project supported by the nonprofit organization, Dominiño, in the Dominican Republic—has taken to heart over the past four years to create and evolve a simple concept into an amazing organization.
The Dominican Republic, specifically the municipality of San Luis located east of the capital, Santo Domingo, is a place riddled with poverty stemming largely from its past as a former workers settlement for refugees. Families often live in wooden or iron huts without electricity or water. Therefore, many children have not option but to work in order to earn extra income that is already very limited. Oftentimes, these children find work as shoe shiners, street vendors, car window cleaners or garbage collectors.
With the many hardships the children and teenagers face, San Skate wanted to give them a chance to forget their struggles and let them be kids again. What started as a small idea in August 2016, offering skate classes to five children on a basketball court, has grown into its current Youth Center where over 100 children receive free skateboarding lessons in their very own skatepark.
San Skate also provides the attending children breakfast and lunch as well as free education and access to creative workshops to expand their learning and offer the children an outlet for their curiosity.
When I knew I was going back to Dominican Republic for a visit, as a filmmaker, passionate skater and GoPro Ambassador, I knew I wanted to make a film to raise awareness of the amazing job that the founders, Miguel and Isabel, are doing with San Skate.
I spent 10 years of my life in the Dominican Republic skateboarding with Miguel and other friends and know firsthand that being a skateboarder in the country is not easy—you don’t get help from the government to built a skatepark. But Isabel and Miguel got to build the best skatepark in the whole country, and the best of all, it was to help the kids from a poor community.
I wanted to help with what I could so I got some boards from Beast Distributions to donate and also this video was made with a lot of love and passion to try to change the image that skateboarding has in Dominican Republic.