Ms. Elsy Aracely Argueta (she/her)
Personal Trainer and Gym Manager
Aracely is a personal trainer and the manager of the community gym. She leads all the programming and the team of volunteers at the facility; she also writes program evaluations and authors related research. She is a Peas y Poder scholarship winner. With this support, Aracely studied a masters-level certification course in bodybuilding and fitness, and she plans on continuing her university education with a major in nutrition in the near future. Outside of the gym, Aracely is an accomplished small business owner with extensive training and experience in sales, accounting, customer service, management, and leadership. She founded and runs the local school supply store.
Aracely has lifted weights for four years, and in her own words, the most important impact of lifting in her life has been, “The changes that often you do not see, but you feel: when you improve your strength and resistance; you change your mood with less stress and less pain. And the most important change happens when you know your body and your muscles, and the moment arrives when you begin to love your body. For me, this is the best life change.” For this reason, Aracely volunteers many hours every week to support the gym.
Fuerza, poder and potencia form part of Aracely’s daily life, and they characterize her identity in the sense that from the time she wakes up, she practices them. For example, “I lift myself up to go to work to build my business, to be able to resolve problems, and create new projects. It is having a clear vision that as a woman, I can be the architect of a better future, including caring for myself, my physical and mental health. All these definitions enclose a common good: personal and community development. All these definitions bring us to the same end: to be owners of our own projects, whether short or long term, care for ourselves, to motivate ourselves to resist, and by living an example, to guide people in difficult moments. This project motivates men, women (adults, not only youth) to learn to love and care for their body and thoughts, from the moment they make the decision to practice sports, exercise, have the discipline to arrive at the gym after a long, difficult workday, to being to practice a habit that brings us step by step to personal achievements.” Thus, when Aracely thinks of ‘strength,’ she focuses on a living process, a lifestyle rather than a sport.