Santiago has served on both the U.S. and international boards of SurfAid for the last nine years and retired this week.
“It has been a great ride to help the organization created by Doctor Dave Jenkins 10 years ago, and we did a lot to help a lot of people and to also make the surf industry aware of such an important humanitarian cause,” he said.
A photo from Santiago Aguerre's retirement party last week. He retired from SurfAid's U.S. and international board after serving for nine years.
SurfAid International was founded in 1999 by New Zealander Dr. Dave Jenkins who was traveling to Indonesia on a surf trip and was horrified at the health state of the local villagers whose perfect waves he’d been surfing off the Mentawais Island chain.
He went back to his practice in Singapore, got his doctor’s kits and started helping villagers and talking to surfers about his cause.
Originally started as a way to help stop the spread of malaria, today SurfAid has evolved to become a global organization aimed at improving the health, wellbeing and self-reliance of people living in isolated regions connected to them through surfing.
Not only does SurfAid do programs with malaria and tropical disease prevention, but they do numerous community based health programs, water and sanitation efforts and emergency preparedness and relief efforts including tsunami relief.
Santiago was especially affected by SurfAid after first hearing about it in Surf Writer Steve Barilotti’s Surfer Magazine article titled “The Jungle is Looking Back.”
See Page 2 for more about SurfAid