Parasurfing the waves in Brazil - A2

Parasurfing in Brazil - 13th August 2021

Brazil has some beautiful beaches. In Santos, everyone can go surfing.

A surf school teaches people with disabilities. Francisco Araña started the school two years ago.

For Malu Mendes, moving her arms and legs isn’t easy. She has cerebral palsy. But surfing helped her. She can move more. She’s now a parasurfing world champion.

Malu Mendes: "I was born with cerebral palsy, and when I went to the doctor after years of surfing, he said there was no explanation as to why I am doing so well. My neurological exam is that of someone who can't walk well, what made the difference was surfing."

The school helps many children, teenagers and adults. It helps people with lots of different health problems. Araña says surfing makes people happy. This helps with their health.

Araña makes special surfboards. They help people with different problems to surf safely.

Francisco Araña: "I built this board with adaptations like these: to lift my chest, for me to place my chin, so I can further adapt. For example, if I have some kind of physical condition in my arm, I work on very simple positions to adapt my body and not injure myself and it’s very cheap to build."

Miguel Almeida was ill as a baby. He can't see very much. But he can hear very well. Surfing helps him.

Miguel Almeida: "I can hear more than normal so I am able to visualize things in a different way, not with my eyes but with my ears. And when I am surfing, with the sound of the waves I know if the waves are big or small.

Miguel wants to surf in the world championships in California. The school gives him the chance to win.