Local April 9, 2013 | 9:21 am

Vandals torch surfing school at Cabarete beach

Cabarete, Dominican Republic.- On the night of Holy Wednesday (March 27, 2013), the start of the high holiday of Semana Santa, criminal hands robbed and burned down the surf school "House of Waves" at Encuentro Beach, Cabarete. The school was run by Dominican National Jesmarin Puente, originally from Santo Domingo and residing on the North Coast in Cabarete for the previous ten years.

The looting and arson claimed all of the surfing equipment that was stored inside, including 60 surfboards, and the Sosua Fire Department has officially deemed the fire as arson.

An explosion was reported as being heard by neighbors, and flames were witnessed engulfing the Kana and Kaoba wood storage shack at 9pm in the evening. Surrounding Almendra trees were scorched and destroyed, and everything inside the shack was lost including children`s beach toys, lifesaving and rescue equipment, surf competition items and more.

House of Waves is the private business of Mr. Puente, which provides surf lessons, training, and a surf club for local kids. Together with his American girlfriend and their young daughter, the family supported numerous initiatives for the benefit of the community including regular beach cleanups, medical missions by the group Waves of Health, the Dream Project`s youth training program A Ganar, and the Surfrider Foundation’s annual International Surfing day, among others.

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