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First Descents Surf Program sponsored by Hotel Cinco and Villa Lunada


From November 3-8th, Punta de Mita’s Hotel CINCO and Villa Lunada sponsored the first annual First Descents Surfing Program, honoring Charlie Ewell. First Descents ( offers young adult cancer fighters and survivors a free outdoor adventure experience designed to empower them to climb, paddle, and surf beyond their diagnosis, defy their cancer, reclaim their lives, and connect with others doing the same. With almost 50 programs in the US and internationally, First Descents is proud to partner with such a great community as Punta de Mita.

“The folks at Hotel CINCO and Villa Lunada were exceptionally helpful and kind to donate this program and help make it a reality,” said Corey Nielsen, Founder of First Descents, who lives in this community during the winter months, aboard his boat.

This wonderful week of gathering together to surf and experience Punta de Mita also honored the memory of Charlie Ewell, a long-time resident and founder and chair of the local men’s group in Punta Mita. Charlie passed away recently while fighting his own cancer battle. The week was a great adventure and a constant reminder that life is short and precious.

Participants surfed with the local knowledge and equipment from Lalo Fernandez de Valle, owner of Accion Sports. The surf instructors also included a team from Farmdog Surf School from Outer Banks, NC, USA.  Both groups helped to make this week possible with generation donations and time on their part.

The week was capped by a few nights at Villa Lunada where the adventure was closed out with a night of food, festivities, and a Huichol Fire Ceremony. ‘Lunada’ means a gathering of friends for a full moon, and what better place to do just that than at Villa Lunada under the stars overlooking the waves the group surfed for the week!

First Descents expresses their sincere thanks to everyone in Punta de Mita who helped to make this a reality. They are looking forward to catching some waves with their new friends in Punta de Mita!

A special thanks to the Men’s Group, founded by Charlie Ewell for their support of the First Descent’s program coming to Punta de Mita.  The program was inspired by Charlie’s fight with cancer this past year and in his courage and vision to create an organization that helps better the Punta Mita community, a new experience will be possible for young adult cancer survivors. The surf program will serve to bridge the most prestigious young adult adventure therapy program in the United States with the world-class surfing destination of Punta de Mita.

A huge thanks to Charlie for his work and service to make the Men’s Group Organization a reality and through the lasting memories of the participants at this first-ever First Descents surfing program, he will be remembered with laughter and love for many years to come.

For more about the camp, visit:

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