Our village, Salamansa, is at the kitesurf spot. We are proud of our beach and of our town. I worked for Marc and Ola (Kitesurf NOW) because they were driven to contribute to the locals, to keep Salamansa for the locals and to keep the spot authentic. Kitsurf NOW has set up the company we mange: Kitesurf Cabo Verde. It is a charity organisation. So far, Ola and Marc are the only individuals who have contributed. We hoe you can contribute and hope that we can continue this mission.
Most of our friends and family in our village like to see foreigners having fun at the beach and on the water. At the same time, we are worried about foreign companies taking over. On other islands such as Sal, foreign companies are controlling tourism and have overrun towns like Santa Maria with limited benefit to local people (most money goes back to Europe, management jobs go to foreigners, low paid jobs go to Cabo Verdeans from other islands and locals are forced to re-locate).
Immediately after Kitesurf NOW stopped, foreigners have started to enquire about buying houses in Salamansa. At least 3 individuals, one from Belgium, one from Switzerland and one from France were considering to have their (kitesurf) center at Salamansa. One of them (Swiss) has nearly completed a kitesurf center on the beach called “Kitesurf Salamansa Cabo Verde”. They appear to be working with a local who has stolen materials from Kitesurf NOW, has sabotaged Kitesurf NOW and has made numerous attempts to prevent others (locals) to benefit support provided by Kitesurf NOW so he (Jair) himself can be the only beneficiary. We are very worried about these developments. Jobs will go to foreigners, money will go abroad and in the longer run, our children will not be able to afford to buy a house / land in their own town.