How did Vamos Youth start?
Vamos Youth was founded by Aude Lemaire-Hamel, driven by helping others and preventing drownings since a very young age. Over the years, Aude became a lifesaving instructor for the Lifesaving Society of Quebec and a certified swim and triathlon coach. She moved to the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica with a mission to educate the youth of our beach community to be advocates for ocean safety and leaders in keeping our beaches safe. Her biggest goal is to inspire and give the tools to the youth to achieve more and follow their dreams while having fun. Serving the communities of Tamarindo, Playa Flamingo, Brasilito, Huacas and Playa Grande, she continues to educate the youth of the area while keeping fun and teamwork at the forefront.
How did you discover Vamos Youth?
I discovered Vamos Youth through her incredible Founder (Aude Lemaire-Hamel), with whom I used to teach lifesaving on the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii. She told me about the program she was creating in Costa Rica to reduce the number of drownings in CR, and I absolutely had to go teach for her, as her mission and my values are pretty much hand in hand.
Tell us about some of Vamos Youth’s programs and your involvement in them.
Vamos Youth has drowning prevention programs (offered to local kids), after school lifesaving clubs, and winter / summer camps for kids of pretty much any ages. The mission is to reduce drownings and increase awareness around water related injuries and hazards. We really adapt the teaching to the level of the kids participating in the camps! I am an instructor for Vamos Youth myself, planning on going back this upcoming summer to teach even more kids in Costa Rica.
Tell us your favorite Vamos Youth memory so far.
My favorite memory will always remain, at the end of each camp, seeing the kids more confident, self-aware of their skills in the water. They gain so much experience, so much trust in their abilities, reducing drastically their ocean related fears! On the long swim of the last day of camps, we often see kids that were afraid to go in at first, be able to swim passed the breakers and eat a couple sets on the head, with the biggest smile on their face! Always a blast!
What role has Avasol played in your experience working with Vamos Youth?
Considering that we spend complete days in the sun, teaching in the ocean, without the ability to reapply sunscreen every 30 minute, it’s been very important for me to find a product that would stay on, and feel good while playing in the water! Having tried many products before Avasol, its hands down been the best sun protection product I ever used, and preventing me and my friends from heavy sunburns, after long days without shade.
What are Vamos Youth’s goals for the future?
Educate, and help even more kids become leaders in ocean safety around Costa Rica!
What's your personal experience with Avasol?
I’ve been teaching lifesaving lessons, around the globe for a couple years now, and Avasol has always been such an important part of my sun protection quiver! Whether I’m lifeguarding, teaching, surfing or training at the beach, I always use the Avasol products. They feel wonderful, look wonderful and are created in a sustainable and very well thought way that goes along with my values, as someone who enjoys everything planet earth has to offer us!