Lisi Suárez, also known by her spiritual name Sveta Ganga (43 years old), arrived in Fuerteventura 18 years ago, like some others did before her and many others will do after her, attracted by the ocean, not knowing anything about Fuerteventura but confident that the island would become her home.
Text: Bili Puig de la Bellacasa
Born in Asturias, she exchanged the mountain, the grass and the rivers for volcanoes, dunes and the Atlantic Ocean. She has always loved sports, athletics and indoor football, which she played as a girl, and two years after arriving in the island she started to surf, which became a way of life rather than just a sport.
What does surf bring you?
Surfing is like being in touch with divinity, since the ocean is like a goddess to me; it’s spiritual and purifying, being in contact with our mother nature. It gives me something I haven’t found in other sports. In every surf session everything comes to life and you form a whole with it. I also appreciate the mineral world, walking on volcanic rocks with all their energy, the contrast of textures between the rough rocks and the carpet of silky algae, and before going into the sea I massage my feet, natural shiatsu style. I love watching dawns and dusks while in the water, watching the sky and seeing seagulls near me sipping sea water… to sum up, surf is my preventive medicine, mental, physical and spiritual.
Which kind of surf do you practise?
I’ve always practised short. I like long but it is too bulky regarding the logistics of the car and so on. I like short and I enjoy it the best.
Do you have any favourite spots that you’d like to share?
When the waves are small, the left of El Hierro, and when they are big I’m a regular of «Punta Gorda» (Lol). Yes, I like Punta Gorda.
What does the island bring you, apart from Surf?
It brings me a lot of peace and detachment from material goods. Purity, lack of pollution, the wild.
What differences do you find in Fuerteventura as compared to the one you met when you arrived in 1999?
As far as surf is concerned, I’ve noticed the spots are more crowded and I think that before there was more respect in the water. But the biggest difference is the building of areas that shouldn’t have been built in my opinion. The wild, the purity of the places should be preserved and from here we will keep claiming that we must look after nature and this world.
Are you a traveller?
Yes, I love travelling and I have made a lot of surfing trips. I’ve been lucky to surf in Morocco, France, Panama, Italy, Portugal and Indonesia, this latter being the trip to highlight, because of its waves, culture, landscape: it’s a real paradise.
What do you miss most from Asturias?
The grass, the rivers, the trees, chestnuts, blackberries… picking up the fruit from trees. I miss all of this, but here I feel at home.
Do you think your daughter will follow your steps in surf?
Taking into account that I kept surfing until the fifth month of pregnancy I think that surfing must already be running in her blood (lol). I really think she will like it.
Anything else that you want to tell us?
I’d love to make a call for the protection of the ocean. We should make our children aware of taking care of nature and the sea, which is so sacred. I always bring a bucket to the beach and pick up the plastic I find. I think we all should become aware of this.