Revolutionary Fitness was founded out of anger, explained its founder and Executive Director, Shawn Garcia, told Rebel Diaz from Ñ Don't Stop: anger at the neighborhood and the community for not making better decisions to address the injustices and the poverty.
But as Garcia grew older and started working as a personal trainer outside Harlem, he realized he was helping people to feel better, and went back to El Barrio in order to help the community members he had initially wished to help.
“In the beginning, it was just a group of social activists who were just into health and fitness and working out together. We realized very quickly that people in the community were digging what we were doing,” said Garcia.
In Spanish Harlem, 1 out of 4 people are obese, and 1 out of 3 children. Yet Garcia believes that eating healthier is not just about personal choices: "we need to start thinking why certain communities are only given access to certain food, which contributes to narrow their range of choices."
“We try to empower people not only to know what is going on with their bodies, but create circles of health, fitness ambassadors in our neighborhood," he concluded.