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Surfaid in Sumatra, Indonesia

The Mentawai archipelago is a group of four small islands located approximately 150 kms from the west coast of Sumatra. It is difficult to get
there (the travel by boat from Padang, the capital of the province of West Sumatra, takes 10 hours).
This isolated land hosts a native Malay population (around 40 000 people). The authorities tried to modify their way of life, especially the scattered community housing, by creating villages on the coastline. Living mainly of the coconut and tropical essence exportations, the inhabitants of the archipelago have been very much affected by the tsunami of December 2004.
The archipelago is also famous for its astonishing surf spots.
Juan Manuel Castro Prieto travelled to Mentawai to make a report on the surfers, and on doctors from New Zealand of the SurfAid association, who, during their holidays, volunteer to help the local population plagued by poverty and disease .

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