Somewhere Near Tapachula: a surfing way of life with orphaned, abused and homeless children

Somewhere Near Tapachula is the heartfelt true story of Mision Mexico, a children's refuge started Australian couple Alan and Pam Skuse.

Based in Tapachula, Chiapas (on the southern coast of Mexico) this inspiring documentary focuses on Mision Mexico Boardriders Club, the unique surf community of orphaned, abused and homeless children.

Directed and produced by Australian surfing filmmakers Stefan Hunt and Jonno Durrant of Surfing 50 States, the film premiers in Sydney on 25th February 2010 at Dendy Opera Quays and will tour around Australia.

For the first time the Skuses and the kids of Mision Mexico, tell their phenomenal tale of survival, love, hope and surfing.

Documenting the stories of the 54 children of Mision Mexico, who have come from places of unimaginable poverty, trauma and abuse; and their experiences of healing and transformation through surfing and love. The film is a powerful lesson on the important things in life, and the power of riding waves, whether you are a surfer or not.

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Broad Beach in Malibu: still a public beach in the next years?

A $4 million seawall is going up in Malibu to protect million-dollar estates threatened by high tides and heavy surf. Local residents like Steven Spielberg, Pierce Brosnan and Goldie Hawn have all agreed to pitch in to protect their homes from beach erosion.

Currently, construction crews are hauling in approximately 70,000 tons of rock from Corona and then, one by one, the rocks are being lowered onto Broad Beach.

Ironic name, huh? In about a month, a 4,000-foot-long, 8-foot-high wall of rock will be constructed. Then the inevitable result will be - no beach.

While there is no dispute that homeowners need to protect their homes, many locals are concerned that residents are trying to keep the public off the beach. Concerned citizens are asking for a commitment from the homeowners to put sand back on the ocean-side of the rocks and restore the beach for public use.

The long term cost of this project could add up to $15-$20 million to "permanently" restore Broad Beach (sand replenishment projects on eroding beaches typically need to be repeated every few years).

Students are raising funds to help the Sumatran children

Australian students have raised $70,000 through SchoolAid which is being distributed by SurfAid International to children in West Sumatra who were badly affected by two major earthquakes in Padang late last year.

Earthquakes of 7.9 and 6.3 magnitude struck Padang on 30 September and 1 October, killing more than 1,100 people, injuring thousands more and leaving hundreds of thousands of families homeless and traumatised. More than 200,000 houses and 1,078 schools were severely or moderately damaged, and 50 per cent of health facilities were rendered non-functional.

SchoolAid, a student-led philanthropy program that empowers kids to help other kids in need, launched the Asia Pacific Emergency Appeal immediately after the disaster. One hundred and eighty three Australian schools took action in the appeal.

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