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All children should have access to opportunities to transform their reality.

Our Story

Make Them Sailors (MTS) is a foundation that works as a network in which community-based sailing projects can all work together, help each other, tell our stories, and most important; together give every child the opportunity to learn to sail. 

Everything started when the founders Carlien (anthropologist) and Martin (professional sailing coach) met a fishermen kid in Colombia that wanted to learn how to sail. * You can see part of this story on this video.

They started teaching children to sail in remote fishermen communities, sharing their stories and promoting sailing as a way to provide new life opportunities.

They discovered a growing community of Inclusive Sailing Programs with similar missions, and so they created a Network to collaborate and increase their impact and visibility.


At Make Them Sailors Foundation, we're on a mission to use sailing's incredible potential to empower vulnerable communities. Our goal is to bring about positive change by connecting sailing schools, sharing resources, and reshaping realities together.

We're dedicated to ensuring that sailing is open to everyone, no matter their background. By introducing sailing to remote areas, we help people grow personally, build confidence, and gain life skills. Sailing teaches teamwork, adaptability, and resilience, preparing individuals for challenges on and off the water.

As a network of sailing schools, we know that together we can make a big impact. By combining our resources and expertise, we provide comprehensive sailing education and support. Collaborating boosts our ability to make lasting changes in the lives of those we help.

Our foundation envisions sailing as a tool for positive social change. We want to empower vulnerable communities to find hope and possibility through sailing. With shared knowledge and teamwork, we aim to enrich lives, strengthen communities, and create a ripple of positive change that lasts for generations.

Our Team


Martin Manrique

Director and Co-Founder

Martin founded MAKE THEM SAILORS with the vision and drive to provide new life opportunities through his biggest passion: Sailing!

Carlien Pels

President and Co-Founder

World traveler, trustworthy, fun. Carlien is an anthropologist who loves nature and sport. She founded Make Them Sailors together with Martin while they where travelling the world on a small sailboat.



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Make Them Sailors. Colombia

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