Fuerza Mexico - Support Mexican Earthquake Relief
Last year my friend Brad Wolfson invited me to take part in a camp he organized in the south of Mexico, a place called Puerto Escondido in the state of Oaxaca. I jumped on the chance because I have always wanted to visit Mexico. I grew up watching movies from the golden era of Mexican cinema, like the Cantinflas and El Santo movies, which are some of my favorites. Combined with my love for tacos and the beach, this camp was a dream come true. As expected, the camp was great. We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Mexico. The training was great and the food was amazing.
During the camp, I got to meet lots of people from the local BJJ community in Puerto, as well as a crew from the state capital a few hours away and few people from Mexico City. BJJ has found place a place in Mexican culture and it is thriving. Luchadores, the iconic masked wrestlers, have been Mexican heroes for years, so while we may not go flying through the air, learning joint locks and sleeper holds has an appeal for those of us that grew up watching lucha libre.
Unfortunately, a few months after the camp, Oaxaca was hit by a giant earthquake, then just a few weeks later Mexico city was hit by another major tremor. These were some of the strongest earthquakes in Mexican history. Structural damage was extensive, thousands of people were injured, and hundreds were killed.
Our friends in the US quickly mobilized and we set up a seminar to donate the proceeds to the reconstruction efforts. Shortly after the fundraiser, we made the plans for the Fuerza Mexico rashguard in the hope of continuing to support the recovery efforts. All proceeds go to the Mexico Earthquake Relief Fund.
We chose a luchador to symbolize the word fuerza which means strength -- both physical strength and and the strength to overcome. The pose was inspired by old luchador movie posters. We hope our humble efforts to play homage to Mexico's culture can help the recovery of our friends south of the border.