Interview with Mario Ordoñez-Calderón of 'Un Mar De Colores'

July 02, 2021

Interview by Adam Jara

What would you do if you were gifted an almost pristine 1970s Bing single fin? Would you keep it for yourself? Most probably would. Encinitas local Mario Ordoñez-Calderón saw it as an opportunity to give back to his community. Mario approached Bing Surfboards about raffling off the gorgeous 7’4” single fin to raise money for his local non-profit, Un Mar De Colores, and we gladly accepted. We’ll be holding 14 day raffle for this original Bing surfboard with a live drawing for the winner on July 17th. All proceeds will go to Un Mar De Colores.

Un Mar De ColoresWe sat down with Mario to learn more about his organization, how it’s helping the local surfing community, and how he came across this classic Bing surfboard.

So Mario, what is Un Mar De Colores?

Un Mar De Colores, which translates to “an Ocean of Colors”, is a non-profit based here in Encinitas. We cultivate and inspire inclusivity, diversity, and ocean stewards by providing surf therapy for children of color and underserved youth.

un mar de colores

How did you become involved with Un Mar De Colores?

My partner Kat and I cofounded Un Mar De Colores together last year. It really began when I reflected on my privilege as a surfer and how many doors have opened for me since I began surfing. Surfing has provided me with a true sense of tranquility and togetherness within the community as well as opening doors to friends and work opportunities. I just realized how lucky I felt to be exposed to the surf scene by my best friend and began reflecting on that. Then while I was living in Cardiff, every morning when I was loading up my surfboard into my car, I noticed these two Latino boys across the street who would just stare at me with complete curiosity. Even though we were a mile up from the ocean, I never saw these two boys gearing up to go to the beach themselves. I saw myself in these two kids and saw an opportunity to take them to the beach instead of waiting around for someone else to take them.

We started Un Mar De Colores in the middle of the pandemic, which oddly catered to our needs because we had to stay in smaller groups. Instead of hosting a beach day with 30 kids, we broke it down into two days with 10 kids each, allowing us to dive deeper with each kid and really see them progress on a personal level. Now that we know how we run our “Surf Fiesta” beach days, we’re gearing up to do more this summer as well as private lessons in the fall, field trips to places like the ecology center, Scripps Oceanography Institute, and more.

Un Mar De ColoresHow did the Bing/Un Mar De Colores partnership come about?

It actually worked out perfectly with the timing of this raffle and the summer starting to ramp up. I’d been sitting on that board for about a year, trying to time it right to come approach Bing about hosting the event.

Then once you guys were so stoked to host the raffle, Kat and I sat down with Matt and Margaret to discuss more ways Bing could help us out, and you guys were all for it. Margaret mentioned she had been looking for an organization like this that Bing could support in their local community.

There are a lot of amazing organizations that help out beach communities all over the state and country, but it seemed like there wasn’t really one in Encinitas. I feel that every beach community needs a branch like ours to make it a better place. So, in working with Bing, I feel like the sky’s the limit as far as what we can do to host more events, surf lessons, beach days etc.

un mar de colores

What are you hoping to achieve with the raffle event on July 17th?

We just hope to raise more awareness about what we do within the local surf community here in Encinitas. Un Mar De Colores has gotten some traction outside of the community, but what we really aim to do is keep the program here and make it the best it can be. We’ve been blessed that a lot of our volunteers are local surfers here that share the same goal, which is to be a way for surfers to give back to their community through surfing itself. So, I’m hoping that with a partner like Bing, we can use both of our platforms to help kids in our surf community.

un mar de colores

How did you come about getting the board for the raffle?

So, my local friend Thatcher had brought a bunch of boards to a board drive. Most of them were old Channel Islands and Mayhems but he had this one stunning Bing single fin that he said his mom had bought during the 1970s. It was in near pristine condition and I just knew I couldn’t just save the board for myself. So, I approached Grey and Adam about raffling it off for Un Mar De Colores and they were psyched on the idea. The board is now repolished and looks amazing so I’m hoping people get really excited about trying to win the board but also knowing their donations are going to a good cause.

Bing Un Mar De Colores Flyer

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