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Youths Turn to Surfing to Escape Acapulco's Violence

Agence France-Presse
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August 15, 2016

In Acapulco, surfing has gained popularity among youths in neighborhoods worn down by poverty and merciless drug violence that have turned the resort city into Mexico's murder capital. (AFP News Agency)

Acapulco is famous for its cliff divers, who wow visitors with daring drops into the ocean.

However, surfing has gained popularity among youths in neighborhoods worn down by poverty and merciless drug violence that have turned the city into Mexico’s murder capital.

Javier Hernandez Castanon, the 58-year-old president of the Guerrero State Surfing Association, said gringos brought the sport to Acapulco in the 1960s, at a time when the city was popular among Hollywood stars.

“Since we didn’t have surfboards, we started surfing on car [tire] inner tubes, and then on wood trunks. The boards began to arrive in the 1970s,” said Hernandez Castanon, who is known as “La Charra” and is Luis Rey Hernandez’s uncle.

The surf association had 50 registered members in Acapulco in the 1960s, growing to more than 200 in the 1990s and more than 700 today.

However, the veteran surfer said the crime wave “affects surfing, because violence is unfortunately attracting every youth.”

Read the rest at Taipei Times

Related: 'Welcome to Acapulco': Shocking Photographs from Just This Summer Show How a Former Beachside Paradise Has Become One of the World's Deadliest Cities (Daily Mail)

Related: Teenager Murdered Inside Acapulco Church (The Fulano Forum)

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