This Little Light of Mine: Love From our Guests

This Little Light of Mine: Love From our Guests

WOW! We are so thrilled with the recent feedback we’ve had from guests and we’re excited to share some of it here. Read on to see what folks are saying or check out our instagram pageSpoiler Alert: Our guides, chefs and support staff are at the heart of everything we do and we couldn’t be more proud of our entire Todos Santos Eco Adventures family! Click here to read more about us.

“We have been all over the world with all kinds of companies, and this one is and always will be
one of our most favorite and cherished trips! We had the most amazing and unforgettable time
at Camp Cecil. What a fantastic operation and experience! Paulina was an exceptional guide, all
of the staff were so kind, friendly, helpful, accommodating, and fun to be around. The food was
unbelievably fantastic (we couldn’t believe how creative and delicious every single thing we ate
was and what the staff were able to come up with in a remote camp). The tents were fantastic,
the bathrooms were super nice, and of course the experiences we had were the absolute best.
Literally everything was perfect and I was so impressed with every single step of the
experience.” Maria B. Nov 2023

“Our guide Octavio was superb in every aspect! He is easily one of the top 5 guides we’ve ever
had anywhere in the world.” Erin M. March 2024

“I want to share with you that you really do have the best guides working with you at TOSEA.
Our excursions and activities were wonderful, and I really have to give an extra special thank
you to Guide Hugo and boat Captain Omar. What an incredible duo. They work so seamlessly
together. Omar is wonderfully passionate and dedicated to providing an incredible experience
on his panga and Hugo is quite possibly one of the best guides I have ever had anywhere in the
world. We just don’t quite have the words for how special they made the visit to the
island.” Kelly C., Jan 2024

“Thank you and your team again for a brilliant and enriching experience. Axel & Bernardo were
exceptional guides in their consummate professionalism, passion for the natural world and
unruffled patience.” Mia C. March 2024

“Our guide, Axel, was simply the best! So knowledgeable about everything in the sea, on land,
and in the air. And his kind, fun, and friendly demeanor made our days. Probably our favorite
part was the 3 nights at Camp Cecil on Isla Espíritu Santo. The snorkeling, kayaking, turtles,
manta rays, sea lions, bioluminescence, hikes…really everything about it was fantastic. We
were especially impressed with the delicious meals that Ricardo and team prepared on a 4-
burner stove in a tent!” Penny F. Jan 2024

“Don’t know how they do it, but every meal exceeded my expectations! They even cooked a
special meal for me since I don’t like fish, which I really appreciated!” Diana W. Feb 2024

“Our guide, Manuel, was superb. We have taken many guided trip and he ranks at the top:
knowledgeable, lively, kind, funny, flexible and able to “read” a group.” Josh O., Dec 2023.

“Martin, our chef at the Sierra Camp, was amazing and that was some of the best food we have
had anywhere.” Bev W., Feb 2024

Hugo is smart, mellow, accommodating, knowledgeable, energetic, enthusiastic, spiritual and
caring. His knowledge of the history, culture, plants, animals and other aspects of the peninsula
is tremendous. He has a perfect demeanor for handling a group.” Jack S. Jan 2024

“Axel is a fantastic guide. 10/10. Gracious, accommodating, friendly and knowledgeable. I’ll
request him again if I go on this trip again.” John J. Jan 2024

The guides were amazing. The food was amazing. I can’t really choose my favorite activity –
snorkeling with whale sharks, snorkeling with sea lions, the cooking class. It was all a lot of fun.”
Shelley J. Feb 2024

“I have traveled for many years and I think this trip connected all the activities in a unique way.
The trip was truly outstanding on every level. Sebastian was a fantastic guide, both very
knowledgeable and tuned in to our needs.” Jeff C., Feb 2024

“Our guide Sergio N. did an amazing job with our family of 8, orchestrating everyone’s interests
and activity level at all times, from the young teens up to an 80-year-old. His knowledge of the
land and sea, and his sharing of so many little secrets opened up the island to us and made it so
special. My heart wants to return back sometime soon.” Mark S. Dec 2023

“The food at Camp Cecil de la Isla was some of the best I have ever eaten-SUPER FANTASTIC!
HIGH compliments to Chef Ricardo and full respect for what he was able to do and provide in
such a tiny kitchen space! The menu was creative and fun and the presentation of the food was
FABULOUS. So many small details and I appreciated every little thought and action put toward
the food, camp, and our guides/crew. Our overall experiences will be forever in our hearts,
minds, and souls.” Tanya T. Dec 2023

Our guides, especially Andrea, were excellent and I have only the highest praise for them.
Andrea was knowledgeable, clear and patient. I also want to say that our boat captains were
the unsung heroes of our trip. We always felt safe and they certainly know how to approach
wildlife safely. Kudos to them all and five stars all around.” Bev W., Feb 2024

“Absolutely incredible experience! Amazing guides, excellent activities, incredibly well-
organized, and fun. From booking the trip until we said ‘hasta luego’ to our wonderful guide,
we had a ball, ate well and learned a lot about the Baja peninsula. Can I give more than 5
stars??” Dianne Z, Jan 2024

Mar Libre

Mar Libre

Like many of the best things in life, Mar Libre was born over drinks by friends kvetching about the state of things. “When you get biologists together, the conversation invariably veers to how bad things are in the natural world” says Pablo Ahuja, one of the founders of Mar Libre. “On this particular night we were all complaining about how we couldn’t enjoy diving at San Rafaelito in the Sea of Cortez anymore because every time we went, we’d have to spend all of our time and air picking fishing line off the coral. This is painstaking work that must be done very carefully so the coral doesn’t get damaged.”  Pablo continues, “Right then and there we decided that instead of cleaning up areas incidentally when we were out diving, we’d start diving with the purposeful intent of cleaning these natural areas.”

Pablo and his friends decided to set a date right then and there. “On the night of July 3, 2015 we posted on Facebook about a clean-up dive for July 21, 2015, and by the next morning we had over 20 divers and dive companies saying they wanted to participate. By the time July 21 rolled around, there were 8 boats and 70 people volunteering to help. That day we cleaned the reef not only San Rafaelito, but La Gaviota as well.” That was a little over 6 years ago and Mar Libre has done a monthly reef or mangrove clean up dive every month since then. Says Pablo, “There are so many rents that we pay on a monthly basis like housing, electricity, and telephone, so we decided that we would also pay our monthly rent to Mother Nature.”

The Mar Libre crew understood from the beginning that conservation without education is not productive or sustainable, so in October 2015 they started going into the schools to educate students and staff on the issues, using the photos and data they had from the July, August, and September clean up dives. Pablo, a marine biologist with a background in science education, lead the charge. “The school directors in Baja California Sur have been great to work with. They will give us 45 minutes per classroom to discuss the problems and the solutions. Very often after a visit an entire school will go on a cleanup. Cleaning a mangrove or reef really changes their views. They simply cannot believe the amount of trash that there is, and they realize that only they can really be the agents of change. So far we’ve engaged with over 24,000 students in BCS.”

Just how much trash is there? Recalls Pablo, “We did a cleanup at El Magote in La Paz in March 2021 with 200 volunteers and 8 boats. We took that trash to the La Paz dump which has a scale. That is how we learned that we had collected 8.4 tons of trash on just that one day. We estimate that we’ve cleaned over 140 tons of trash from the reefs and mangroves since we started the project in 2015.” Some of the things that they find in a mangrove that has never been cleaned might seem surprising to the uninitiated. Recounts Pablo, “We’ve found fax machines, washing machines, electrodes, 50 year-old mason jars. We pulled 4 porcelain toilets out of one mangrove. We figured folks had gone camping and were just looking for a little privacy. It’s fun to date stuff that comes out of the cleanups. There is a brand of beer called Carta Blanca that used to make its bottles with a little indentation on the side. The idea was to use one bottle to take the cap off the next. They stopped making those bottles in 1970 so when we find them we know that trash is at least 50 years fold.”

Pablo takes the long view on his quest to clean the reefs and mangroves of Baja California Sur. “When we go to a new spot, literally no one in human history has ever cleaned that place before. It can seem overwhelming at the first cleaning, but subsequent visits are encouraging. Pargo Villa Reef near Isla Ceralvo is a good example. In September 2015 we cleaned that reef for the first time and took out 100 kilos of fishing line alone. In September of 2016 we cleaned again and took out 10 kilos of fishing line, and we think this was mainly because we didn’t get it all the first time. In September 2017 we cleaned again and there was only one kilo of fishing line. And with education, 100 kilos of fishing line will never build up in this spot again.”

Mar Libre exists only in the hearts and minds of the kayakers, surfers, divers, sailors, biologists, students and other ocean lovers who volunteer their time, energy and resources to cleaning our local reefs and mangroves. There is no office, no staff, no NGO status, no budget, no funds. Pablo’s goal is to wipe out even that reality. “We want to clean and educate ourselves out of existence.” But that moment is not yet at hand and much work remains to be done. Everyone is invited to join the Mar Libre movement and participate in the monthly reef and mangrove cleanups. Invite your friends, your family, your school group, your office mates to join you!

Ways to be in touch:

Facebook:  Email: Telephone: 612 154 9859



Rancho Gaspareño: The Transformation of Baja California Sur

Rancho Gaspareño: The Transformation of Baja California Sur

A tumultuous, exhilarating, infuriating and irrevocable shift of population, outlook, culture and vision is sweeping the lower part of the Baja peninsula. Some residents who have been here for a time are eagerly embracing the evolution, spreading the new concepts one joyous Instagram post after another.  Others remain faithful to the old days and ways, testily resisting the transformers one grumpy Todos Santos Newsfeed post after another. Who is really a Todos Santeño? Paraphrasing Colson Whitehead’s beautiful tribute to New York, “No matter how long you have been here, you are a Todos Santeño the first time you say, ”That used to be Café Santa Fe” or ”That used to be Santana’s.” … You are a Todos Santeño when what was there before is more real and solid than what is here now….You start building your own private Todos Santos the first time you lay eyes on it.”

For Greg Schredder the first time he laid eyes on Todos Santos was in 1961 from the sea, but he’d been driving down the Baja peninsula for a couple of years by then. “A bunch of us southern California surfers started coming to Baja in 1959” recalls Greg. “Because there was barely a road and certainly no gas stations at that time, we retrofitted our old truck with a custom-built 55-gallon gas tank and brought what we called our Tijuana credit card, a one-inch tube that we’d use for siphoning the gas we bought at the ranches. The ranchers were always incredibly welcoming and ready to help us with gas and anything else we needed. Of course, we didn’t always find them in time and we were often stranded for days. We didn’t care, we were just always looking for waves.”

The fishermen were equally welcoming. “We would travel with 10-pack cartons of unfiltered, Delegado cigarettes, and one carton would get us up to 50 pounds of lobster. Everything was so abundant then. We’d actually get tired of eating lobster and so we’d use it as bait to go fishing. It was not uncommon to see 600-pound groupers in the Pacific lagoons in those days, and the fishermen would actually catch these giants with their hand lines. We loved staying in the fishing villages on these trips. We would surf, dive, fish, and learn incredible stories of these people living in the most remote locations. You could hear your heartbeat for a quarter mile it was so quiet and still. We would always bring baseballs, gloves and Playboy magazines, and we made friends and had a great time everywhere we went.”

Greg’s introduction to Todos Santos was rooted in much more glamorous transportation than the type that required a Tijuana credit card. “In the 1950s and 60s, most of us surfer kids in Newport, California worked on the yachts of famous people like André Previn, Julie Andrews, and Humphrey Bogart to make money, and they really treated us like family. In 1965 I came to Cabo on Ralph Larrabee’s yacht, Goodwill, and stayed for about a month. At that time Cabo was really just a small village with no electricity. Larrabee’s friends like Donald Douglas (of Douglas Aircraft fame) and John Wayne would fly in to spend a few days partying and fishing, then fly back home. It was during these downtimes that I first explored the Pacific Coast between Cabo and Todos Santos. It was a surfer’s paradise.”

Greg’s friendship with the likes of Douglas and Wayne ended up lasting decades and inspired many of his business ventures across Mexico and Costa Rica. “I would often travel with them over the years, and they are the ones who motivated me to get a real job. As a surfer and diver I decided to set up factories in La Paz and Tijuana to make rubber products related to those activities. We expanded that business into setting up factories for many Fortune 500 companies who needed inexpensive, repetitive labor. We were the largest employer in La Paz and Ensenada for over 20 years. Of course, before the highway came in, it could take up to 2 days to drive to Todos Santos for some surfing.”

“I have always loved the Pacific side of Baja, and in 1979 I bought Rancho Gaspareño, 50 acres of remote land along a quarter mile of the Pacific coastline, not too far from Todos Santos. One of the people who drew me to the area was Carmen Salgado Agramont. She had a little cantina with a hitching post out front for horses where she’d serve up warm beer and hot food. She was quite savvy, and bought the first gas refrigerator in the area. She almost couldn’t keep up with ranchero demand for cold beer after that, and there were always dozens of horses around her cantina. I loved that place, and it was Carmen’s son who set me on the path to buying the ranch, which actually has the name and signature of Benito Juarez on the original land grand title. Since then I’ve been growing coco palms on the ranch, and have also been experimenting with growing plants from Hawaii like breadfruit that have excellent potential in Mexico.”

Greg loves the history of the area. “Rancho Gaspareño was named after a Spanish galleon that went aground on the point, the Gaspareño. It was one of the so-called Manila galleons, Spanish ships that sailed between the Philippines and Acapulco for 250 years, bringing spices, silks and other luxuries from the far east to New Spain. All these galleons sailed the Pacific coast of Baja on their way to Acapulco, so naturally enough the area became riddled with pirates, many of them English and Dutch.  There are many tales of buried pirate treasure in the area, and local school groups still come to explore the cave at Rancho Gaspareño each year to tap into the lore. Treasure hunters have reason for optimism; in 1974 when the road from La Paz to the ferry terminal at Pichilingue was being built, a pirate chest of plundered loot was discovered by road workers.”  

“I think of this part of the Baja coastline as the forgotten area” continues Greg. “People drive past Rancho Gaspareño going a hundred miles an hour on the new 4-lane highway and have no idea of the history of the area.” The Guaycura and Pericue Indians were the original inhabitants before the Jesuit’s arrival in 1697, and they were essentially wiped out by the time the Jesuits left in 1768. The Jesuits built their theocracy based on a promise to the King of Spain to get rid of the pirates who were plundering his ships, and the pirates faded away with the demise of the Manila galleons in 1815. Dominican Padre Gabriel González had a ranch near Gaspareño from 1825 to 1850, and the tobacco, rum, sugar, corn, and livestock he produced there made him the richest man in Baja California. From his ranch the padre engaged in espionage and guerilla warfare during the Mexican-American war of 1846-1848, and – thanks in part to the Padre – Mexico won a major victory near Gaspareño (but lost the war). By 1855 the Padre had lost his political backing and left Baja for good. For the next one hundred years entrepreneurs made fortunes in the sugar cane industry with fields in areas like Gaspareño, but in the 1950s a severe drought and price drop lead to the demise of the industry; the last sugar processing plant closed in 1974. In that same year the trans peninsular highway made its way to Todos Santos, bringing new life to the town, and in 1985 renowned artist Charles Stewart arrived from Taos, planting the seed for Todos Santos’ current incarnation as an artists’ colony. It remains an agricultural center and surfing hotspot, only now it is firmly on the radar of major developers.

62 years after his first trip down the Baja peninsula, Greg is ready to carve out a little hacienda for himself and his art collection, but let someone else take over the bulk of the land that is Rancho Gaspareño. He has kept his 50 acres wild and free, but would love to see someone with vision and passion create a place of beauty that celebrates the area’s thrilling past, and embraces an artistic, sustainable future. Someone who started building their own private Todos Santos the first time they laid eyes on it.

Of course, letting go of a big piece of the ranch is bittersweet for Greg. Paraphrasing Colson Whitehead’s tribute to New York once more, “We can never make proper goodbyes… Maybe we become Todos Santeños the day we realize that Todos Santos will go on without us. …. Naturally we will cast a wary eye toward those new kids on the block, but let’s be patient and not judge too quickly. We were new here, too, once.” Yes indeed. A tumultuous, exhilarating, infuriating and irrevocable shift of population, outlook, culture and vision is sweeping the lower part of the Baja peninsula. It always has.



The Star of the Sea of Cortez: Estrella Navarro Holm

The Star of the Sea of Cortez: Estrella Navarro Holm

by Bryan Jáuregui, Todos Santos Eco Adventures

This article first appeared in Janice Kinne’s Journal del Pacifico

She’s been free diving since before she could walk, but every time she gets in the water for a competition she reflects on the old nightmare: She’s swimming peacefully at the shore when the ocean suddenly starts retracting away from the beach at great speed like it does before a tsunami. She’s caught in the enormous power of the angry water, completely out of control. She’s filled with dread of the cold and the dark, terrified of being so absolutely alone.

“But competitive free diving is at least 70% mental” says Mexican free diving champion Estrella Navarro Holm. “And it was free diving that finally put that old nightmare to rest. In competition they allow us a few minutes on the rope at the surface before the dive, and I use that time to do my deep breathing, face any fears I may have, and relax into the dive. Once the count reaches zero, the rules allow only 30 seconds to get your face in the water, so you have to be ready.” Ready to dive 70 meters (230 feet) into the black of the ocean with no oxygen, no light, no friends,  just the air in your lungs and your wet suit to protect you? Fear is the only rational response.  “Yet”, says Estrella, “once my face is in the water the training kicks in and my diving reflex is activated. My whole system has a physiological response to my mental state and I am completely prepared to go. The first few meters are hard because my body is heavy and buoyant with air, and I have to really work to get down. But then at about 30 meters the free fall starts. It’s as if the wet suit and my skin fall away, and the water in my body merges with the water of the ocean.  Each molecule of water feels very intense. It’s like flying, but in slow motion. The free fall is the most beautiful, spiritual experience – it’s what makes people free diving junkies.” Knew there had to be a payoff.

And that payoff has paid off big time for Estrella. The La Paz native has broken the Mexican national free diving record 21 times, she was the first Mexican on the medal podium in a free diving world championship, and she’s the first woman in Latin America to medal in the discipline of constant weight no fins. And unlike most world champion athletes, she didn’t enter her first major competition until she was 24. This gave her the time to earn a degree in marine biology from the Autonomous University of Baja California Sur (UABCS) in La Paz, widely acknowledged as one of the best marine biology programs in the country. And she’s using that degree to pursue her other great passion in life, ocean conservation. Among other accomplishments, she is co-author of a paper titled Global Economic Value of Shark Ecotourism: Implications for Conservation, that appeared in Oryx, The International Journal of Conservation, published by Cambridge University Press. Yes, the one in England.

It is often the case in life that we don’t fully appreciate what we have at home until we travel elsewhere. And as Estrella traveled the waters of the globe for competitions, she found that her fellow athletes scarcely believed her when she described the riches of the Sea of Cortez, marveling – some skeptically –  when she told them about diving with sea turtles, sea lions, whale sharks, whales, dolphins and more. Their wonderment (incredulity) gave her an idea for combining her passions: invite the best free diving athletes in the world to La Paz to share the wonders of the Sea of Cortez and, at the same time, promote ocean conservation. Says Estrella, “I sent out 250 personal invitations via Facebook to my free diving friends, and I was so thrilled that 24 of the best athletes in the world accepted the invitation to compete in our program, Big Blue. But I was even more excited that they took up the call to be ocean ambassadors, to return to their home countries and promote strong ocean conservation measures. This is really the success of Big Blue.”

Indeed, as part of the Big Blue program in November 2015, Estrella, working in coordination with the tourism board of Baja California Sur, organized a conference on ocean conservation where she presented the shark research in which she and her co-authors demonstrated that shark ecotourism around the world currently generates US$314 million a year and supports 10,000 jobs – a vastly higher and more sustainable number than those associated with shark landings each year. That is to say, as is generally the case when speaking of wild flora and fauna, the living, breathing resources of the world are worth more to mankind alive than dead.

Estrella wants to keep bringing that message to the world, and plans to make Big Blue an annual event in La Paz, her home town and a great staging area for exploring the Sea of Cortez.  Estrella is part of a growing cadre of world class athletes that grew up in La Paz and the Sea of Cortez (Mexican board diving champion and Olympian Paola Espinosa’s dad was actually Estrella’s competitive swimming trainer when she was a little girl, and the two champions remain friends) and their love for their home town is helping to fuel growing interest in La Paz as a destination for top competitions in many sports including stand up paddle boarding, water polo, swimming and, of course, diving.

But unlike her fellow champions in other sports, Estrella doesn’t worry so much about the march of time. One of the greatest female free divers of all time, Natalia Molchanova, became the first woman to dive 100 meters (328 feet) at the age of 44, and continued to dominate the sport for another decade. (Her son Alexey swept the Big Blue competition in La Paz and is the reigning world champion.) So that means that for the foreseeable future, Estrella can continue to both compete in oceans around the world, and create the knowledge and ambassadors to help protect them. Saving it all for the generations to come. That’s what truly makes the champion Estrella Navarro Holm the Star of the Sea of Cortez.

To learn more about Estrella and Big Blue please visit:


Todos Santos Box and the Power of One

Todos Santos Box and the Power of One

by  Todos Santos Eco Adventures

This article first appeared in Janice Kinne’s Journal del Pacifico

Bryce Courtenay’s best-selling novel The Power of One is a riveting coming-of-age tale about a boy in South Africa who transforms his life through boxing. Speaking about the book years later, Mr. Courtenay said that people generally misconstrued the meaning of the book’s title, thinking it referred to an individual discovering substantial inner strength, when in fact “…the title comes from and is about the power of one teacher. It is about how one teacher can lift a child out of an…environment and allow him or her… to change their life.”

“I am so grateful to all the volunteers and sponsors who have donated their time and money to make the Todos Santos Box program possible. It wouldn’t be possible without their help.”–Ramiro Reducindo Radilla

And we can see that power on full display on any given night in the auditorio of Todos Santos when Mexican boxing champ Ramiro Reducindo Radilla comes to town to train the local kids. Ramiro won the gold medal at the Pan American games in Santo Domingo in 2003, represented Mexico at the Olympics in Athens in 2004 and turned pro in 2005. When he started coaching the kids in Todos Santos not one of them had ever been in a boxing ring before. Yet now, not even 18 months later, two of his students have progressed all the way to the national championships. The power of one indeed. Says 17-year old contender Carlos Orozco, “I’d never been an athlete – let alone a boxer – before November 2011 when a friend brought me to a practice session with Ramiro. It never occurred to me then that I would make it this far, and certainly not this fast. It’s been amazing.” Fellow contender 17-year-old Cuahtemoc Aviles agrees. “I’d never boxed before I met Ramiro last year. I had very little discipline, ate a lot of junk food, I just wasn’t in good shape. Now we’ve been winning matches with kids who have several more years of experience than us. Ramiro has really changed everything for us.”

Says Ramiro, “These kids didn’t have much in the way of skill or discipline when I first started working with them, but I believed in them from the very beginning because they always had heart. When we first started we had hardly any equipment but the kids showed up anyway. Many times my car would break down on the drive from La Paz and the kids would wait for me for two to three hours, then still do a full training session starting at nine or ten o’clock at night. I’ve never doubted that these kids are champions and I fully expect to see at least one become successful on the global boxing stage.” Ramiro is so committed to helping the Todos Santos boxing students realize their potential that he coaches them at least twice a week for nothing more than a little gas money.

And with wages like that the support of the local community is critical. When Ramiro’s car engine gave up the ghost just a few weeks before the national championships, neighbors pitched right in to help get it replaced. “Engine Angels” included Michael & Pat Cope at Galeria de Todos Santos, John Stoltzfus & Todd Schaefer at the Todos Santos Inn, Ezio & Paula Colombo at Café Santa Fe, Mario Becerril at Mario Surf School, Sergio Rivera at La Casita Tapas & Wine Bar, Richard Rutowski at AmeriMex, Norm Weill – Volunteer at Large, and our own Baja Surf Camp for Women graduate, Diane Arstein!

“It’s exciting to watch the kids’ progress and see the pride of accomplishment on their faces. They’re learning so much more than boxing. It means a lot to us to be able to offer our time and support.” Cheriy Myers & Steve Stockton

And the community hasn’t been there just as a stop-gap in times of emergency. As Ramiro is eager to point out, it’s been contributing time, money and equipment all along. Moises Barraza Morales, the General Manager of Bodega Lizarraga, got the ball rolling by donating the initial equipment and practice area. When executives from Caracol and Quaker State read the first JDP article about Todos Santos Box they immediately made much-needed cash donations. When Betsy Wall, the mother of Todos Santos resident Janine Wall learned that the kids had only one red and one blue outfit to share among the whole team at competitions, she stuffed her suitcase full of blue and red t-shirts and shorts and brought them to town with her. When Todos Santos residents Cheri Myers and Steve Stockton learned that there were just a couple of sets of gloves and head gear to share among the more than 40 kids who show up to most practices, they donated the resources to get enough protective gear for all the kids. When Adolfo Blanco of the Hotel California saw all the amazing work that coaching volunteers like Mauricio Duran, Arturo Millan and Hector Alberto Agundez Martinez “El Pampa” were doing, he was inspired to donate sharp-looking warm-up suits for the coaches and students to wear to competitions.  Todos Santos visitor Doug Newcomb was inspired by the inclusive nature of the program. “I wanted to support Todos Santos Box since they allowed my son Phineas to train with them while we were in town. Even though they knew he wouldn’t be there for more than a month or so, they treated him like part of the club and made him feel included. And the best part was he came home so stoked! If Ramiro can make it all the way from La Paz several times a week, the least I can do is help out by bringing equipment from the US.”

Contenders Cuauhtémoc Avilés y Carlos Orozco

“First with your head and then with your heart” is the life-changing advice dispensed by the boxing champ to an eager young student in The Power of One. The Todos Santos boxing students started out with only heart, but under Ramiro’s coaching they’ve acquired the skills and discipline to lead with their heads. As for the Todos Santos community, they’ve made the well-reasoned decision to support this program with plenty of heart.

If you would like to join Todos Santos Eco Adventures as a sponsor or volunteer with Todos Santos Box please contact Mauricio Duran for specifics: Cell: 612-13-44478 or email: .

El Box en Todos Santos y el Poder de Uno

by Todos Santos Eco Adventures

Este artículo fue publicado originalmente en la Journal del Pacifico. Traducido por Elena Acencio Ibáñez

La exitosa novela El Poder de Uno, de Bryce Courtenay, es una fascinante historia juvenil acerca de un joven en Sudáfrica quien transforma su vida a través del boxeo. Hablando sobre el libro unos años más tarde, el Sr. Courtenay dijo que la gente por lo general malinterpretó el significado del título del libro, pensando que se refería a un individuo descubriendo sustancial fuerza interior, cuando de hecho “…el título viene del poder de un maestro y es acerca del mismo. Es sobre cómo un maestro puede sacar a un muchacho o muchacha de un…ambiente y permitirle cambiar su vida.”

“I am so grateful to all the volunteers and sponsors who have donated their time and money to make the Todos Santos Box program possible. It wouldn’t be possible without their help.”–Ramiro Reducindo Radilla

Y podemos ver ese poder en pleno cualquier noche en el auditorio de Todos Santos, cuando el campeón mexicano de boxeo Ramiro Reducindo Radilla viene al pueblo a entrenar a los chicos de la localidad. Ramiro ganó la medalla de oro en los juegos panamericanos de Santo Domingo en el 2003, representó a México en las olimpiadas de Atenas en 2004 y se volvió profesional en el 2005. Cuando comenzó a entrenar a los chicos de Todos Santos, ni uno de ellos había antes estado en un ring de boxeo. Sin embargo ahora, ni siquiera dieciocho meses después, dos de sus estudiantes han progresado hasta los campeonatos nacionales. El poder de uno, de verdad. El participante Carlos Orozco, de 17 años dice: “Nunca había sido atleta, mucho menos boxeador antes de noviembre del 2011, cuando un amigo me trajo a una sesión de práctica con Ramiro. Nunca se me ocurrió entonces que llegaría tan lejos como he llegado hasta ahora, y ciertamente no tan rápido. Ha sido increíble.” Cuauhtémoc Avilés, de 17 años y también contendiente está de acuerdo. “Nunca había boxeado antes de conocer a Ramiro el año pasado. Tenía muy poca disciplina, comía mucho producto chatarra, simplemente no estaba en forma. Ahora hemos estado ganando peleas con muchachos que tienen muchos más años de experiencia que nosotros. Ramiro de verdad ha cambiado todo para nosotros.”

“It’s exciting to watch the kids’ progress and see the pride of accomplishment on their faces. They’re learning so much more than boxing. It means a lot to us to be able to offer our time and support.” Cheriy Myers & Steve Stockton

Ramiro dice: “Estos muchachos no tenían gran cosa a manera de habilidad o disciplina cuando empecé a trabajar con ellos, pero creí en ellos desde el principio porque siempre tuvieron corazón. Cuando primero comenzamos, no teníamos casi nada de equipo pero los chamacos se presentaban de todos modos. Muchas veces se me descomponía el carro en el trayecto de La Paz y los muchachos me esperaban durante dos o tres horas y todavía hacían una sesión completa de entrenamiento empezando a las nueve o diez de la noche. Nunca he dudado que estos muchachos son campeones y tengo la expectativa total de ver a por lo menos uno de ellos convertirse en un éxito del escenario global del boxeo.” Ramiro está tan comprometido con ayudar a los estudiantes de boxeo en Todos Santos a alcanzar todo su potencial, que les ayuda por lo menos dos veces a la semana a cambio de nada más que un poco de dinero para la gasolina.

Y con una paga tal, el apoyo de la comunidad es crítico. Cuando el motor de su carro dejó de funcionar justo unas cuantas semanas antes del campeonato nacional, los vecinos cooperaron de inmediato para ayudarle a reemplazarlo. Los “Ángeles del Motor” incluyeron a Michael y Pat Cope de la Galería de Todos Santos, a John Stoltzfus y Todd Schaefer del Todos Santos Inn, Ezio y Paula Colombo del Café Santa Fé, Mario Becerril de la Escuela de Surf, Sergio Rivera de La Casita Bar de Tapas y Vino, Richard Rutowski de AmeriMex, Norm Weill–voluntario a gran escala–¡y a nuestra propia graduada del Campamento de Surf Baja, Diane Arstein!

Y la comunidad no ha estado ahí sólo como un parche en momentos de emergencia. Tal como Ramiro está deseoso de señalar, la comunidad ha

Contenders Cuauhtémoc Avilés y Carlos Orozco

estado contribuyendo horas, dinero y equipo todo este tiempo. Moisés Barraza Morales, gerente general de Bodegas Lizárraga, puso las cosas en movimiento al donar el equipo inicial y el área de prácticas. Cuando los ejecutivos de Leche Caracol y de Quaker State leyeron el primer artículo en el “Journal del Pacifico” sobre el boxeo en Todos Santos, inmediatamente hicieron donaciones en efectivo que se necesitaba de verdad. Cuando Betsy Wall, la madre de Janine Wall, residente de Todos Santos, se enteró de que los muchachos tenían solamente un uniforme azul y uno rojo para compartir entre el equipo entero durante competencias, llenó a tope su maleta con camisetas rojas y azules y con shorts para traerlos al pueblo. Cuando los residentes de Todos Santos Cheri Myers y Steve Stockton se enteraron de que sólo había un par de juegos de guantes y equipo para compartir entre los más de cuarenta muchachos que se aparecen a casi todas las prácticas, donaron los fondos para adquirir suficiente equipo de protección para todos los muchachos. Cuando Adolfo Blanco del Hotel California vio todo el maravilloso trabajo que los entrenadores voluntarios como Mauricio Durán, Arturo Millan y Hector Alberto Agundez Martinez “El Pampa” estaban realizando, se sintió inspirado para donar trajes de calentamiento de muy buen ver para que los entrenadores y los estudiantes usen durante las competencias. El visitante de Todos Santos, Doug Newcomb se inspiró por la naturaleza inclusiva del programa. “Quise apoyar al Box de Todos Santos desde que le permitieron a mi hijo Pheneas entrenar con ellos mientras estábamos en el pueblo. Aunque sabían bien que no estaría él ahí por más de un mes o algo así, lo trataron como parte del club y lo hicieron sentirse incluido. ¡Y la mejor parte fue que volvió a casa tan emocionado! Si Ramiro puede llegar desde La Paz varias veces a la semana, lo menos que puedo yo hacer es apoyar trayendo equipo de los Estados Unidos.”

“Primero con la cabeza y luego con el corazón” es el consejo con el poder de cambiar vidas que el campeón de boxeo le dispensa a un joven estudiante en El Poder de Uno.

Los estudiantes de boxeo de Todos Santos comenzaron sólo con corazón, pero bajo el entrenamiento de Ramiro han adquirido las habilidades y la disciplina para dirigir con sus cabezas. Y con lo que respecta a la comunidad de Todos Santos, han tomado la decisión bien razonada de apoyar a este programa con mucho corazón.

¡Muchachos del pueblo mostrando sus cosas!

Si te gustaría unirte a Todos Santos Eco Aventuras como patrocinador o voluntario en El Box de Todos Santos, por favor contacta a Mauricio Duran para los detalles: Cel: 612-13-44478 o correo electrónico: