Lifeguards of Dominical, Costa Rica Interview Series
June 30, 2017
Get to know the lifeguards of Dominical, Costa Rica. This week we interviewed Alvaro, the head of the lifeguard team at our beach.
How long have you been a lifeguard?
I took a little break in the middle but all in all, I’ve been lifeguarding for about 10 years in Costa Rica.
How did you get started lifeguarding?
My cousins were lifeguards when I was younger. I remember it was 1996 when they started needing more help. I was only 14 but I jumped at the opportunity to get involved. It was exciting to be part of this in Costa Rica.
What is your favorite part about your job?
I love the feeling when I have complete a successful rescue. It’s hard for me to put into words but I feel happy, satisfied, and relaxed when it’s all over. It’s really impacting for me when I go out to make a rescue and I make eye contact with the victim. So many thoughts go through my head. It’s a weird feeling knowing that in that moment, you’re the only person who can help them and save their lives. It’s just an incredibly rewarding job.
Can you tell us about one of your rescue stories?
One morning I was having breakfast at my house, it was a nice morning and I was just relaxing and enjoying my coffee. Suddenly, I got a call from my aunt letting me know that there was a fisherman drowning by the rocks in front of Rocas de Amancio. It was a tough rescue because of the rocks and the conditions of the water. A big wave had come and knocked him off the rocks and into the water. When I got to him I just remember that moment where we made eye contact, and then another big wave came. Eventually, I was only able to see his hands just barely sticking out of the water. Luckily I was able to grab him and pull him to safety.
There is a Lifeguard Party coming up this weekend, will you be there?
Of course! The lifeguard parties are a great help for us and we really appreciate everyone who supports our program. Because of the support we receive we’re able to hire more lifeguards and keep training to make sure we are doing the best job for locals and tourists in Dominical, Costa Rica.
What the most important advice you have for beach goers in Dominical, Costa Rica?
When you get to a beach you’re not familiar with, look for lifeguards, surfers, and/or locals and ask about the conditions in the water. For example, the conditions at Dominical beach are constantly changing, so it’s important to know where to swim on specific days. We love our job and are always happy to answer any questions.