Dominican Republic

Debson Soto

September 2023

Tell us something about DR that no one knows.
DR is known as an island with beautiful beaches, but there are very beautiful cities full of charm such as: Constanza, Jarabacoa, Bani, San José de Ocoa, Pedernales, San Juan de la Maguana. In them you can find a different gastronomy emblem of each town, history of our past and scenarios such as deserts, mountains and very beautiful rivers.

What is Ekeibol?
Ekeibol was born as a proposal of Media and Non-Profit Organization, focused on contributing to the local Dominican skateboarding scene. We come together in order to give more strength to the project and we have as a mission to work in support on the local scene to continue encouraging youth participation in skateboarding, create a community atmosphere on the scene and seek visibility both on our island and abroad. This project is supported by my girlfriend with the media which had been going around in my head. The support of the collaborators has been of great help, making each step we take concrete. Why Ekeibol? This is the name for a Skateboard in the Dominican slang.

What are some of the challenges you face with running Ekeibol?
Our biggest challenge has been to make skaters aware that we are a community that must be united and that we need to support each other in order to continue growing as a community. Another of our challenges has been to get other skaters to participate in the competitions. We know the level that currently exists between skaters, but for us the competitions are small battles that help any competitor not only to demonstrate their skills, but also to improve in strategies, tricks and above all to grow as a person.

‘Another challenge that for us is the most important, is that we have no skatepark in the central area of the city.’

Mark Carrasco with a flip backtail fakie out

What has been the proudest moment so far?
All that we have done so far, has been a lot of pride. But we want to emphasize that what gives us more pride is to be able to find people and brands that believe in what we do and above all, in skateboarding. Therefore, we are very proud of our collaborations with @BronxGirlSkate and @wallrideexpo sponsored by @HaroldHunderFoundation, @drinkarizonaskate and many others, we must also highlight the collaboration with @NounsdaoAmigos, which is the LATAM community of the Nouns brand.

What are some of the things you want to do in the future?
We have many ideas, but our big goals we want to go for are firstly, to make competitions with other countries in a friendly way between skateboarders to keep learning and create bonds of friendship with other skateboarders. Secondly, to continue promoting and encouraging our youth and children to enjoy and practice skateboarding and thirdly, to be able to have more help from sponsors who believe in our project and Dominican skateboarding. So, we can build skateparks with Olympic standards, create bigger events to continue to promote the visibility of skateboarding and be a support for local skaters who want and have the desire to be athletes.

What is the local skate scene most proud of?
San Luis skate community. Watching the kids and youth of Barrio San Luis is extraordinary. The energy, the motivation, the passion with which they ride is unique. We are very proud of this project created by Izzie and Miguel. If you don’t know them, you can see them on Instagram as @san_skate

‘There is no skateboarder with more spirit, persistence, and discipline’

Christian Martinez
Who is the godfather of the DR skate community and why?
For us, it would be Christian Martinez (aka Kuba) Skateboarder of the Street discipline. There is no skateboarder with more spirit, persistence, and discipline. With 37 years in the Dominican skateboarding scene, it’s incredible the energy he brings to skate.

What are some of the challenges skaters face in DR face every day?
Our biggest challenge in Skateboarding is not being able to find local stores that can supply us with parts and boards. So, we must resort to the internet to buy and that is something difficult for some because, due to the economy of our country, not everyone can buy a board. Another challenge that for us is the most important, is that we have no skatepark in the central area of the city. Although there are some diy places created with the contribution of the same community of skaters, like Montesino Skate Park and Km 10 Skatepark.

Last question. If you could interview one person, who would it be and why?
San Skate people, because they have made a great job, taking a forgotten side of the city and giving the kids from San Luis community an opportunity to have a different live, to see it in another perspective, to learn thing that maybe they couldn’t know due their local situation.

Can I say one more thing? I love my family!
Debson Soto