Returning to Las Flores evoked a feeling of coming home, seeing a beloved friend, grown and changed, but with the same warm smile, the same tender heart. Three years ago, the sign welcoming tourists to Las Flores was shiny and new, bright with hope at the promise of work, money, a better life. Now it is pockmarked by stickers, indulging in a decadent feast of surf tourism. The landscape is similarly changed. New hotels have sprung up like weeds along the road, which has been widened and flattened, laid in parts with cobblestones, bridges. Droves of surfers toting shiny new boards file out to the waves.