500 Sails’ project offering free swimming lessons for women

Posted on Jun 03 2022

Photo shows Sirena Project swimmers with swim coach Emma Perez, third from the right. (LINDSAY NASH)

500 Sails is calling for women and teenage girls who would like to take free swimming lessons under its program, Sirena Project.

These free swim lessons take place every Sunday at 11am at Guma Sakman, taught by master swim instructor Andrea Carr. “Cultural storytelling is a huge component of teaching; there’s so much wisdom to be passed on and we’re only scratching at the surface,” said Carr.

The unique aspect of the Sirena Project swimming program is that these lessons are infused with cultural aspects relating to the natural world—wisdom shared by our cultural practitioners and master navigators.

The project aims not only to promote stewardship of the ocean, but to also empower young women to be comfortable in their own skin, gain a better outlook on life, nurture connections with others, and also, for an hour, take them away from the draw of technology and social media to try something new.

Also, the program offers a natural, alternative outlet for an active lifestyle to help address suicide rates in the CNMI that are twice that of the national average; young girls were twice as likely as boys to have experienced a depressive episode at the age of 15.

500 Sails was the recipient of a 2021 U.S. Accelerator Catalyst Grant awarded by the Sierra Club to its leaders who attended last year’s Women’s Earth Alliance U.S. Grassroots Accelerator program. (PR)

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