Update: Pesas y Poder
This is an update of my May 2021 post about Pesas y Poder. a "powerlifting for empowerment" initiative. working through the disciplines of fitness and strength, and the safe space of a community gym. The goals of Pesas y Poder are to promote gender equity, community empowerment, and healing from trauma through the practice of strength sports in El Salvador.
Today Pesas y Poder has a home in a new gym in Comunidad Romero, Distrito Italia, Tonacatepeque. The gym celebrated its official inauguration on Sunday, February 20, thanking all the individuals and organizations in El Salvador and across frontiers who had made it possible.
The facility is a free, community gym drawing participants of all ages, genders, shapes and sizes. The gym is named for Elba and Celina Ramos, the mother and daughter murdered along with six Jesuit priests by the Salvadoran military in 1989.
inclusivity, health, solidarity and body positivity.
At the gym today you might see a grandmother learning some basic strength exercises at the same time as a young man powers a weight into the air. A mother might arrive with her child in tow to experience the benefits of her workout routine.
The Elba and Celina Gym has a Facebook page where you can learn more about the gym and see photos of its activities here.
The Pesas y Poder project continues fund-raising to purchase additional weight training equipment and to provide for trained staffing at the gym on a sustainable basis. Find ways to donate here.
There was a recent radio interview of gym manager Aracely Argueta and Noelle Brigden on a local San Salvador radio station. They describe how the programs of the gym help deal with the trauma frequently experienced by those living in marginalized zones of El Salvador.