Isabella Veliz Vazquez
The blue in Isabella’s eyes is captivating. Her skin is golden, her hair wild with a natural beach wave. There’s something different, something mysterious about her. One look at her begs a thousand questions. Isabella is from San Cristobal, an island in the Galapagos, where she grew up freely, roamed with wild animals, and fell madly in love with the sea. Along the way, she decided she wanted to learn to surf, but seeing as no one in her family surfed, Isabella had to go out teach herself. It wasn’t an easy feat, but she knew it wasn’t an impossible one either, and became the Galapagos’ first and only female surfer.
When she’s not traveling the world, Isabella is back in Galapagos. She’s up at five with the sun, standing on her balcony, her eyes turned toward the ocean checking the surf. Isabella isn’t one to look at the forecast, she would rather be surprised each coming morning. If the waves are good, she’s out. If not, she’ll go for a swim. Either way, she’s in the water first thing each day, satisfying her eternal love affair with the sea.
Isabella’s passion and enthusiasm for life, for the sea, for traveling, for everything, is electric. She is a rare, beautiful, and exotic energy, reminiscent of the island she calls home.
You are the first female surfer from the Galapagos Islands which is no small feat. How did you first get into surfing? Was it hard for the guys to accept you on their turf?
Being raised on the Galapagos Islands made me love the sea. I started by swimming every day until I discover surfing, since the surf culture is pretty new in The Galapagos.
Nobody in my family surfed so I decided to start by myself. Someone left a surfing magazine on the island, which is how I discovered it. After flipping through the magazine, I instantly had a desire to be out there catching these perfect waves, these same waves that I saw in the magazine.
It was important to my mom that my sisters and I worked in order to pay for things on our own, to really earn them, so at a young age I started saving money from various jobs so I could buy my first surfboard.
From there, I would follow the guys to see where they were surfing… only to find they were surfing in front of the rocks haha (San Cristobal island only has point breaks). Once I got in, I looked at how they paddled, sat on the board and caught waves.
Even though my feet got completely cut up and I was a little scared, I was hooked. I could not wait to go back the next day. From that point on, I went every single day until I finally learned how to surf. I learned on my own with my mother’s support and her advice to follow my heart, be perseverant, and patient.
I eventually became the first female surfer of Galapagos and gained the respect of the guys.
This was not easy, but I also knew it was not impossible.
We know you live an extraordinarily healthy lifestyle between working out, surfing and eating clean. When did you first become vegan, or have you always been? Do you have a daily workout routine? Describe what a day in the life of Isabella looks like.
I surf because it gives me happiness, I work out to push my body to be stronger, and I eat clean and am vegan to take care myself, animals and the environment as much as I can. I make every meal at home, and consume only local, organic fruits and vegetables of the island.
My day starts early - first thing I do is go to the balcony and check the sea, wind and waves. Then I go to work at my mother’s hotel. After I work for a little, I’ll go surfing. If the waves are great I surf until sunset, if not, I surf and then workout.
Your eyes are so stunning; they can be compared to/mistaken for that famous National Geographic cover. From whom did you get those gorgeous green eyes?
Thank you, that is a huge compliment! Believe it or not, no one in my family have green eyes. I think the Galapagos water has given me color in my eyes ;)
Your favorite surf trip so far, go.
Patagonia! I traveled all around both Chile and Argentina. I camped for six months straight. I saw the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets… empty, perfect waves, with an ocean full of dolphins, whales and seals! But what made me love Patagonia the most, was its people and their way of seeing life, their simplicity, humbleness, and generosity. I learned something new every day from them.
Tell us what you love most about what you do.
First off, I am grateful for where I come from and the values my mom has instilled in me. This is what lead me to doing what I love.
If I had to pinpoint what I love most about what I do, it’s that it could someday inspire more girls to get into sports and live a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.
Any advice for girls who want to get into surfing?
You can do whatever you want – it doesn’t matter where, the weather, etc. Go find your happiness surfing (or any sport!) that makes you feel great and alive!
What is your go to look for day? For night?
No shoes! Haha Island life is as simple as it gets - just bikini, shorts, t-shirts and dresses for day and night. I do enjoy switching it up and wearing different Amuse Society wetsuits and swim suits when surfing.
What are you listening to now?
Ben Howard, Angus & Julia, Orishas, and Bob Marley… I’ve been listening to him for as long as I can remember.
Who is your ultimate fashion muse?
To be honest, I don't have any fashion muse. I think beauty and style is in everyone and everything.
What does it mean to you to belong to Amuse Society?
It is such an honor to represent a brand that was started by women, for women, and to sit alongside such talented girls.