Why we do what we do
Surf For Life is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that sponsors high-impact, sustainable development projects in underserved communities. We design infrastructure projects to alleviate the area’s most pressing needs as identified by the local stakeholders. Our success comes from engaging passionate, like-minded organizations and volunteers to directly support the realization of our projects.
We offer a unique opportunity for people to experience a new and altruistic kind of travel that takes individual vacation to the next level. Our trips are open to anyone who wants to travel and lend a helping hand. The common point of interest of all our volunteers is their willingness to make a difference and we are so thankful for them for sharing their time and energy to contribute to our mission.
Our Origin Story
In 2008, Surf For Life co-founders Alex Fang and Jonathan Sofer ventured on several surf trips to Central America. They saw the apparent need for sustainable development work in these incredible destinations in order to better handle the changing social, environment, and economic landscapes that come with tourism. From here, the vision for Surf For Life was born – an organization that would bring hundreds of people to far off destinations to explore a new culture, and to do something meaningful to positively impact that community. For a brief time we were known as Hope Corps, but our mantra has always been Surf For Life.
Who We Are Today
Today we are still run by travelers; explorers by nature.
Deb Fox - Co-Director
Deb Fox first got the travel bug in 3rd grade while traveling in the way back of a Volkswagon van with her dad through Europe. Since then she has done two extended world travels and many other adventures around the globe solo, with good friends and most recently with her favorite surfer. To support these travels she has had an eclectic career ranging from environmental program development and management to working in the delicious world of cheese. When not traveling, she can be found creating, eating and playing with the Fantastic Mr. Fox (aka the surfer), their small human and her sugar & spice "kiddy" cats in her Fox Den in magical northern California.
Chris Imhoff - Co-Director
Chris Imhoff has worked in the environmental non-profit world for most of her career, developing innovative programs, writing educational curriculum and more. Her passion lays in developing programs that bring people together to learn, be actively involved, and then inspired to do more. Chris is a world traveler that has made her way around the globe and has traveled the unbeaten paths of places such as Burma, Tunesia, and Bangladesh, and to some of her current favorites – Bali, Thailand and Italy. Chris is proud to be part of the Team moving Surf For Life forward and continuing its amazing work!
Lisa Bisceglia - Co-Director
Lisa has been facilitating community development and leading groups of volunteers in Latin American countries for almost 20 years. She has a Masters in Education and a wide range of experience in the alternative education world. She has worked extensively with community organizations in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and Costa Rica. Lisa is passionate about surfing and was excited to find Surf For Life in 2013 for the opportunity to continue working on local projects with various communities in the developing world. She lives mostly in Maine when she is not traveling.
My favorite part of my Surf for Life experience was meeting locals and learning about the culture from the best guides – they have connections with the locals that made our experience authentic.
Vava’u VCO and Vanilla Facility, Tonga, 2016
The entire experience was better than I imagined, and I had pretty high expectations. The project, the Las Salinas community, the group volunteering, the accommodations and food were amazing. Plus we lucked out seeing the kids on their first day of school!
Las Salinas School Renovation, Nicaragua, 2017
"I am so grateful that an organization like this exists & for all those who supported me on my trips.The Surf For Life trips I went on to Costa Rica & Nicaragua were truly unforgettable. After laying down the groundwork (quite literally mixing & laying cement) for a high school & meeting the children of Manzanillo, Nicaragua, it was a gratifying moment to hear that the school is up and running now!"--Costa Rica Community Center, Fall 2012 AND Nicaragua High School, Spring 2013
Past Trips Gallery
In The News