Talk to center on indigenous knowledge, surfers on Nicaragua's coast


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- "Riding the Waves of Change: Indigenous Knowledge and Identity of Local Surfers on Nicaragua's Pacific Coast," a presentation by Lindsay Usher, will be held from noon to 1 p.m. Feb. 20, in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library. The event is free and open to the public, and can also be viewed live online at by searching for the presentation date in the menu to bring up the direct link. (No log-in is required.)

Many people are unaware that indigenous groups continue to thrive in communities located along the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua. Las Salinas, where indigeneity is defined by castes, birth and land rights, is an indigenous community partially sustaining itself through surf tourism. Based on an ethnographic study conducted in Las Salinas, this lecture will explore the relationship between indigenous identity and surfer identity, and it will examine how indigenous surfers use local knowledge to negotiate the surf space as they find themselves having to share it with more tourists each year.


Usher is a doctoral candidate in the department of recreation, park and tourism management, who worked as an ecotourism facilitator for several years in Guatemala. In her current line of research that is based in Nicaragua, she has been able to combine her own love of surfing with her desire to assist indigenous groups in making tourism work for them, not against them.

The presentation is part of an ongoing series highlighting the importance of indigenous knowledge and is sponsored by ICIK, the Interinstitutional Consortium on Indigenous Knowledge, and the Penn State Social Sciences Library. For more information on ICIK, go to

For more information or if you anticipate needing accessibility accommodations or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Helen Sheehy, at or 814-863-1347.



Last Updated January 09, 2015