Get to know the “green sea-soul” Jordi Vila.
We happily present our new cooperation partner FEEL Surfcamp. Enjoy this interesting interview with the founder Jordi Vila. Diving into the Ventana Community means getting to know interesting locals that are opened to share their piece of Gran Canaria with you!
- Which was your reason to come to the island and how long are you here already?
I arrived in 2011 from Barcelona, looking for a place where I had great easy going people around, good waves and mellow winters. Canary Islands was the place but, honestly, after visiting the 8 islands, I could only live my life here in the neighbourhood of Guanarteme, in Las Palmas.
- What was your image of Gran Canaria before you arrived and how did it change during these years?
I had the image of an ugly island, with old tourists in a big hotel… Nevertheless… after riding a car around I noticed that this wasn’t true. 90% of the tourism of the island stays in the touristic south of the island meanwhile the rest of the island it’s uncrowded, full of nature and local little towns. Being part of this 10% of tourists gives you the chance to see the island from a different and realistic point of view. That’s what we try to show to our visitors from FEEL Surf Camp.
Feel Surfcamp Guest enjoying Jordis unique guided Surfari somewhere in the south of Gran Canaria
- What do you love personally about living in Las Palmas?
Las Palmas has the right balance between a big city with all services, cosmopolitan life, nature and the ocean of Las Canteras or El Confital. You can feel like in a city and at the same time in a town. You can feel yourself in the asphalt or in the sand of the beach. Two different worlds in one place. Two oceans in one city. Moreover the approach from the neigbourhood of Guanarteme where we are based it’s like a little town. Many times I just walk out and I meet friends spontaneously… the atmosphere is healthy and sporty with people jogging, playing beach tenis (palas), surfers everywhere, friends playing football, swimmers, …. And many little cafe’s or restaurants.
Jordi with his Guests planting trees in “the Surfers Forest”
- What is your motivation and inspiration in this project? What keeps you moving forward in this project in these difficult times?
The aim of finding something to do everyday that keeps me motivated. From Feel Surf Camp we are free and we can use our platform to do what we feel and think that can be funny to do. This opportunity to mix work with creativity and social interaction it’s what keeps us moving forward.
- Why did you choose to start a cooperation with Ventana Azul Hostel?
With the shake of the Pandemic situation this 2020 we all had to find new ways. Thomas is an old friend, one of the first persons that I’ve met when I arrived in Gran Canaria 10 years ago. We started both projects (Ventana Azul and FEEL Surf Camp) 9 years ago in 2012. At first we wanted to already work together but the situation made it not possible at the time. It’s been now when life offered us new opportunities and wanted to make a move in our projects. We are have both creative, soft personalities and a fluent and honest communication. The fact of being friends was pushing us to start this new episode together. Being surrounded by new energies it’s a good motivation and makes us happy to share this new times.
Faked happyness? 😉 Jordi & Thomas (founder Ventana Azul) celebrating the sun, life and the new coooperation!
- How do you think that Ventana Azul guests can benefit from this cooperation?
In different aspects. Of course, economically it’s one of them… But also with the knowledge and experiences that we offered to our guests through our activities. Both projects can live together, complement each other and enrich the offer that we have to our guests. Get ready for the new upcoming activities after Covid!
- Which Top 10 Places on Gran Canaria would you recommend to visit to any guest of the hostel?
There are many secluded places that we have been discovering through this last 10 years. Places that we even showed to local friends. I would not detail any of them, it’s better to come and explore it with our help. We are always glad to share local spots and small locations that we usually visit with our family, friends… and why not allow visitors that look for something different to check them out? Small valleys with jungle, tropical fruits, coffee plantations, stunishing views above the sea, volcanic natural swimming pools, desertic landscapes,…
- Which are your favourite outdoor activities on Gran Canaria and why is it the perfect place for these activities?
Surf and Hike are definitely two classics… but you can also see manta rays snorkeling, cliff jumping to the water from volcanic rocks, enter in aboriginal caves,…
- If you would have to describe your life on Gran Canaria with 5 words only – which wrds would it be?
Freedom, Diversity, Multiculturality, Caos and Balance.
- Can you let us know a bit more about The Surfers’ Forest project?
This project was born in 2012 when we thought that it wasn’t fair for the island to only get visitors that take things and resources. We found out that the balance wasn’t equal and we had the need to be grateful with the Island doing something for her. We contacted a local Foundation and asked about the possibility that our guests plant a tree with their hands. On that way the guests are also compensating the CO2 emissions of their flights, of the surf materials and doing something good for the island. A Legacy that will stay there forever. Since 2012 we have planted about 1.000 trees in a piece of land that Gobierno the Canarias lended to us. Every week we get to the Forest, walk the mountains and plant trees. It’s a very rewarding activity which everyone loves. A win-win deal for all the subjects that are participating.