SANTA CATALINA is a small town of Veraguas Province
This destination has been benefited from an increase in tourism and commercial activity which had a significant increase in recent years.
Here you can find excellent hotels, hostels, surf camps, restaurants, bakeries, shops and tourist services such as sport fishing, whale species, scuba diving tours to different Gulf Islands, including the famous Coiba Island World Heritage Humanity.
On this occasion, Agustin Cedeño and her mother, Ilka Vargas traveled to visit this beautiful place, in search of its powerful waves and preparing for the next contest of the CNS.
Under the shadow
As in all places of powerful waves, locals are getting very talented, and locals surf every day in this place, so if you keep the respect in the Line-Up, you are sure to have a good surf session. Catalina is one of the places in Panama where the waves are focused more intensely, they are strong and break over volcanic rock bottom, about 300 days per year. This wave mostly breaks right but also has some incredible lefts. These features make it a world-class wave. You can find other breaks around such as the Estero which has sandy bottom, Punta Brava and several other breaks that you will know when you explore this place a little more.
In this photo: Johnny Alfonso preparing for the tube.
Santa Catalina have developed important surfing events like the ISA World Masters, ISA World Surfing Games and international competitions. It has also been and will host multiple events of national surfing such as the APS and DST.
Agustin Cedeño (Playa Venao) veragüenses visiting lands and seeking to dominate the next stage of surfing competition.
The talent coming out of Santa Catalina as to surf refers, it is the best in Panama, and most often occupy the highest positions in the ranking of national circuits.
Worldwide, we can mention Jean Carlos Gonzalez, better known as Oli Camarena, who won 2nd place, Silver Medal at the World Open held at this beach, Diego Salgado 7 times national champion and Alejandro Alfonso "Cholito" among others. There are many other talents to mention and were not in this photo shoot, also other "Chargers" veterans who have left high the name of Santa Catalina and hear them safe if you visit the place long enough.
In this photo: Johanny Alfonso, Santa Catalina female talent
Although many talented surfers are emerging from this place, sports development and growth does not reach them so hard, there are many possible causes, such as the distance from the capital city, government and business support among other things.
But this should not be an obstacle to them. There are many examples of success in the Latin surfing, who despite the difficulties, have taken advantage of opportunities, focus, improve their weak areas and correct (habits, discipline, image and communication.) This is key, because the competitive surfing is more than anything, a personal challenge.
We urge local businesses and people involved in sport, to support these talented surfers in their own way, who not only live in Santa Catalina but throughout the country.
In this photo: Jean Carlos Gonzalez "Oli" crowned sub-world champion ISA
This obstacle for emerging athletes, is not only to Santa Catalina but most of Central America and the developing countries where surfing is practiced.
In most cases, they are the parents, relatives and friends who become their first sponsors.
In this photo: Rolo Orlando Ortega Panamenian surf legend
Santa Catalina also has benefited from a cultural diversity of different parts of the world and has made continuous investment in their land, thanks to local investors families, businessmen and foreigners who fell in love with this place and have decided to settle with their families and businesses in this picturesque village; but at the same time, it has been affected by the common evils of development and social inequalities that this brings hand. It is therefore important to promote family values. Love of the land and sea provides sustenance and gives them to eat but above all, protect youth, guiding young people to a sports life, study, work, spiritual and all out leisure and vices.
In this photo: Vielka Ortega ,Rolito's mother, enjoying her favorite wave
Many people have been involved directly supporting these surfers, some with surfboards, the most talented and beginners, others products, others counseling, teaching and some money for the competitions most anonymously contribute their bit.
Furthermore support groups, clubs and National Surf Circuit, have made a difference for athletes of the place.
The cost of a surfing career is high, and this limits the performance of national team athletes in international competitions, we hope this will change soon in Panama, as the Sport of Surfing is a major foreign exchange earner for the local economy several neighboring countries and Panama which seeks to take an example.
A good sportsman always leaves the image of his country up.
In this photo: Isauro Elizondo, example of discipline and improvement of their young age.
Other contributors to the Panamanian surf engaged in documenting and disseminating content, images and videos on their blogs, social networks and local media who support this sport, making them known in other parts of the country.
In this photo: Orlando "Rolito" Ortega perfecting the air surfing
Surfing is a sport that requires a lot of dedication, there are many trials and errors, and honestly it is not for everyone, but to achieve surfing requires a lot of willpower and good attitude and whether you are "Free Surf" or "Competitive surfer" what everyone is looking for is fun.
In this photo: Diego Salgado "7x National Champion"
Santa Catalina is a town that progresses in surfing and eco-tourism, with places like Coiba Island, Cébaco Island, Governor Island, Montuosa Island and many other nearby paradises where you can find an amazing fauna and flora; It has world class wavesand stunning sunsets. This place will continue to be recognized as World Surf destination for a long time, breaking waves and athletes ready for the opportunities this brings, and will be in each of them, you take them.
We invite you to visit Santa Catalina beaches and learn more of its people, collaborate with the local economy of this amazing destination that Panama offers.
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Remember, in the surf, it's all about respect.