Waves For Water Brings Clean Drinking Water to Cartagena in Honor of Freddy Marimón

January 16th, 2020

Cartagena, Colombia

Written by: Jamie Brisick


Freddy Marimón was born with no legs and only one arm. He lives in a hilly nook near the airport in Cartagena, Colombia. His barrio La María resembles a Brazilian favela. Homes are small and tight together. Mangy dogs and feral cats roam free. Roads are paved and unpaved and Freddy skateboards on them both. That’s how he gets around. And when he gets a ride to the ocean on the other side of the airport, Freddy surfs. At 14 years old and in just three years of surfing, he is currently ranked #1 in the world in the Adaptive Surf League.




I met Freddy in California in October 2019 when he came to the United States for the ASL competition. He won first place in two divisions. I was certain one of those awards was for his gigawatt sunbeam smile. Then I learned he scored a perfect 10 on a wave in the final. Once a boy so limited, he is now going abroad dropping jaws and shocking spirits everywhere. He got me. 



Learning Freddy is from the poorer side of Cartagena, together with his team we quickly schemed a project to bring clean water home. The fact he has gone out into the world and is attracting international aid back to his and surrounding communities, is a story so motivating that I couldn’t wait. Well, we are here now. Two days ago I shared a wave with Freddy at El Laguito in the Bacagrande area of Cartagena. Yesterday we provided access to clean water for 50 families in a small island community called Tierra Bomba. 



Our Waves For Water motto is to “do what you love and help along the way”. I’m doing that with Freddy. - Jamie Brisick



Help us provide clean, safe drinking water to more communities like Freddy’s. Donate a life-changing water filter here. To join the Giveback Homes movement go to givebackhomes.com. To donate and help build a home for a family in need, please click here. 100% of your contribution will go directly towards building homes #forsocialgood