As a Surfrider Community Organizer in Puerto Rico, Varela helps support communities and develop campaigns and projects to protect and restore different Marine Reserves around the Puerto Rican archipelago.
Hector graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration with a minor in Psychology. He completed a Master's Degree in Marketing at Ana G. Mendez University.
While studying his bachelor's degree, he founded with fellow students from various academic disciplines an environmental activist organization, they began with the restoration of one of the areas with the highest concentration of sand dunes in Puerto Rico that was destroyed for the extraction of sand as construction aggregate. Today, after more than 20 years of struggle, they have planted eleven thousand plants, restored sand dunes, restored mangroves, placed interpretive signs and, together with the community, have reclaimed the area as a reserve to avoid the destruction of the coastal ecosystem.
As a surfer, captain and diver, a lover of the coast, proud of his archipelago, he promotes the enjoyment of coastal resources, beaches, sea and ocean in a conscious way.
One of his favorite quotes is: “We have to be the change we want to see in the world” by Mahatma Gandhi.