‘Ciguapa is the first female skate community in the Dominican Republic.’
Interview with Gaby
Tell us something about DR that no one knows.
Most people don’t even know that the DR has a skate community because it doesn’t get much attention in the media. But there are actually lots of skate parks and shops all over the country, and the local skaters have even started their own brands and groups.
You started a skate community for girls in DR called Ciguapa. What triggered the idea?
This community was born in 2020 from the common experience of many young girls who start skateboarding without a friend who shares the same hobby. That feeling you may have when you first arrive at the skatepark as a beginner, a mix of excitement and shyness, as you see others skating really well and doing tricks, but you feel unsure because you don’t know how to start or you’re afraid of getting in the way of those who already know how. It’s very comforting to be part of a community where you know you can have the support and company of girls who share your same passion for this sport, and even be guided by them in your early days.
‘We would encourage people to be self-conscious about the way they think and talk to women, because it can be misinterpreted.’
Can you tell us more about the community?
Ciguapa is the first female skate community in the Dominican Republic. There have been several skate groups in the DR but all of them were all- male. The group is made up of female skaters of all ages and skill levels and our goal is to promote skateboarding as a positive and empowering activity for women in the country, and to create a supportive community for female skaters to connect and skate together.
What are some of the challenges you face with running Ciguapa?
Some wouldn’t consider this a challenge but an issue that can be of concern is that there are not more girls in the community. It should be known that if you are a girl, you want to skate and you live in DR, you can reach Ciguapa to get more involved in this beautiful sport.
How accepting was the existing skate community to your female-run skate group?
The skate community has been very welcoming with the female scene. In DR it is uncommon to see girls practicing sports, let alone a sport that only reached the Olympics a couple of years ago. However, harassment is also seen. We would encourage people to be self-conscious about the way they think and talk to women, because it can be misinterpreted.
What has been the proudest moment so far?
Every time the girls gather and get together to skate is a proud moment. The excitement and the thrill when the group is united to skate is part of a very warming experience.
What are some of the things you want to do in the future?
Host an only-girls skate event with several categories such as junior and open. However, the female scene is still growing and developing, we think that maybe in a couple of years this can be possible.
Last question. If you could interview one person, who would it be and why?
The person who first rode a skateboard in DR. It would be interesting to know what motivated them to practice a sport never seen in the country before.
‘It’s very comforting to be part of a community where you know you can have the support and company of girls who share your same passion for this sport’