Peru, Pura Vida and Power by You

Local CrossFit gym hosts Burpees for Charity this Sunday.

Pura Vida founder Nathan Beninger (left) has teamed up with Power By You owner Ali Popoff (right) for Burpees for Charity

Seven Peruvian women will benefit from the upcoming Burpees for Charity event co-hosted by Power by You and the Pura Vida Foundation this Sunday. Their names are Yoni, Grimanesa, Yanet, Maribela, Vanessa, Sonia and Reina.

Ranging in age from 10 to 21, these women live in a condominium provided by Pura Vida in Cusco, Peru that’s overseen by a nurse who ensures they’re fed, clothed and adequately supported in their studies.

So why is Nathan Beninger, the Nelsonite who founded this charity with his wife seven years ago, doing this? What is it about these particular women that motivates him to keep working in a country that’s often hostile to his enterprise?

“I don’t think it’s so much because of Peru. I’ve travelled to over 50 countries, and once you start looking outside of Canada there aren’t a lot of nice places,” said Beninger, 31, who admires Che Guevera.

“You start seeing these things, you read certain books, you start traveling and you realize: this isn’t how this should be. This isn’t fair.”

What isn’t fair?

“These girls we work with come from Inca families, and quite often we’ll come up against: ‘this is my culture, I’m allowed to beat my wives and daughters.’ You’re going up against corruption, poverty, prostitution.”

It’s been made clear to him that the local community considers him to be robbing them of seven prostitution revenue streams, and he’s often feared for his life. But he keeps doing it, even though it’s hard.

“It costs us $38,000 a year to run our current shelter. And that’s to house four to seven women, and we’re putting two through private university.”

That’s a roof over their head, three meals a day, everything they need. And though they’re still struggling to “stay afloat,” Beninger has bigger dreams: they’ve bought a tract of land and hope to build multiple buildings on it.

“We bought the land in 2013 and we want to build a shelter on it. It would have a dormitory, kitchen, eating area and a building for a library, activities like crafts. It will take about $400,000.”

He got one step closer to that goal when it was recently announced a woman has donated her life insurance to Pura Vida, and when Power By You owner Ali Popoff announced her fundraiser Burpees for Charity, this Sunday at 2 p.m.

As well as hosting the event, in which athletes will work out for two hours, Power By You will also provide a food truck, face-painting and other community activities at their 723 Front St. location.

“We were born into privilege, but with that privilege I think there is a certain responsibility,” Beninger said. “I want to make a footprint on this planet. I want people to look back and say ‘well, that dude did something.’ I think now conversation isn’t enough. We need action.”

To participate in the fundraiser, contact Ali Popoff at ali@powerbyyou.com. The event is for all levels of fitness.

Reporter Will Johnson is a member of Power By You.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nelson’s American sister city faces COVID-19 culture war

In Sandpoint, Idaho, wearing a mask is about Black Lives Matter, gun rights, and COVID-19

UPDATE: Body of Slocan River drowning victim recovered

The man was swimming near Winlaw on Wednesday.

Nelson’s SMRT1 Technologies to provide vending tech to Vancouver company

UpMeals will launch 22 machines across Canada using SMRT1’s personalized machines

July Kootenay real estate sales at record high

Sales and prices of Kootenay real estate on the rise

Kaslo council says it was overlooked in long-term care announcement

“We’re fed up … They have ignored every attempt we’ve made to contact them”

B.C. records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths

Many of those testing positive were identified by contact tracing for being linked to other confirmed infections

Five B.C. First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

$45K in donations received after couple’s sudden death in Tulameen

Sarah MacDermid, 31, and Casey Bussiere, 37, died August long weekend

Famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer brings movements of joy to Long Beach

Internet-famous dancer is exploring Vancouver Island, visiting the B.C. Legislature and more

Battle of Fairy Creek: blockade launched to save Vancouver Island old-growth

‘Forest Defenders’ occupy road to prevent logging company from reaching Port Renfrew-area watershed

COVID-19 could mean curtains for film and TV extras

Background performers worry they’re being replaced by mannequins on film and TV sets

Most Read