The fundamental focus of Pura Vida Adventures surf and yoga retreats was created around the concept of family. And our growing family of surfers—blood or otherwise—is what makes this small family surf business tick. While our clan of empowered surfers seems to grow exponentially each year, it’s a core two—Tierza and Kathy—who have built the framework for an experience that fosters our emotional bond to the sea, to each other, and to the sport of surfing.
Tierza is the patron saint for anyone bonkers enough to launch a small family surf business in a foreign country. She’s crazy, funny, an entrepreneur, and a surfer … but mostly she’s just crazy. Her life would be a great movie (Angelina Jolie in the lead role, obviously).
Before the age of thirty-two—when she received surf lessons as a gift—Tierza thought surfing was reserved for hard-core athletes and buff dudes. But that first lesson changed her life and she’s been chasing the dragon ever since. In 2001, after being laid off during the dot-com bust, she embarked on a Central American surf odyssey, discovering Malpais in Costa Rica. It was there that the seed Pura Vida Adventures was planted, as she wanted to share the joy and freedom of surfing and yoga with other women. She had no prior startup skills, but instead just went for it. The first camp was held in January of 2004.
On the relationship front—Tierza dated Mr. Wrong for most of her life, and didn’t like nice guys. But then she found the ultimate “nice guy” when she stumbled upon Scott. The rest—as they say—is history … Today, Tierza and Scott are married with beautiful twin daughters, Makayla and Zayda. They live half the year in Costa Rica, where they run their small family surf business, and the other half in Bend, Oregon. And while motherhood has mellowed Tierza slightly, her idea of holistic living is dancing at big, noisy music festivals—green juice in hand
Tierza is living proof that YOU can achieve whatever you want, even if that goal is absolutely terrifying.
Bette Midler wrote the ‘Wind Beneath My Wings” about Mama Kitty. No joke! Because when the surf camp staff is at the beach enjoying themselves or in the restaurant stuffing their faces, Mama Kitty is in the office doing tedious paperwork or answering phone calls and emails. She’s the one who will hold your hand through the booking process and will answer all your questions and fears about our surf and yoga retreats.
Occasionally she can be spotted lazing around the retreat’s hotel pool or beach, sipping a fresh fruit smoothie, or kicking up her heels to a favorite tune.
Mama Kitty is Tierza’s mom and for many years she ran her own successful horse show business. When Tierza announced that she wanted to start her own business—realizing that she needed someone reliable to handle the administrative stuff—she begged her mom to help her run the office back home. At first Kathy was flabbergasted by the request, but after picking her jaw off the ground, she was flattered that her daughter wanted her to play such a major role in her small family surf business. She loves working closely together with Tierza.
“I feel so fortunate that I get to work with my mom and I know that the business would not be the same without her,” says Tierza, “We talk on the phone almost everyday and we like to joke and have fun while we are working.”
Mama Kitty loves helping people fulfill their dreams and enjoys hearing the reasons why they want to go on a surf and yoga retreat. She says it’s such a marvelous feeling to help clients plan their fantasy trip. “She puts in a 110 percent to make sure our clients have the best experience possible,” explains Tierza, “Mama Kitty might be behind the scenes, but if you ever get to meet her, you will know she is a caring, wonderful person, and an integral part of Pura Vida Adventures.”
And that’s why a mother’s work is never done. You’re our hero Mama Kitty!