The Pura Vida ‘Fighting for Kids’ project began in February 2016 and was founded by Mauricio Calvo. Mauricio is a former fighter and gym owner from Costa Rica and currently the Manager at Sutai Muay Thai. The project was one of the main reasons why Mauricio packed up his gym in Costa Rica and decided to make the move to Thailand with his wife Marcela Soto. Since arriving in Thailand i n 2009 to follow his passion for Muay Thai, he fellin love with Thailand; the culture and the sport. He was touched by how the Thai children would live and train in poor conditions, quite often with nobody to take care of some of them and he really admired their strength.He always wanted to find a way of giving something back to the Thai people and so he wanted to find a way to help support some of these children.
Since being at Sutai, he has was very excited to bring over his original trainer Kru Bangman “A master in Thai boxing” who also had a gym in his home town, Trang, in Southern Thailand. His students were mainly Thai boys aged 10-14 yrs old. Some of the boys have been training and fighting for a number of years already, with 50+ fights under their belts. Some are focussed by dreams of becoming a future champion, while some of them fightsimply to help support their family.
So the Pura Vida ‘Fighting for Kids was born, since joining Sutai the boys settled in quickly, training hard everyday but always with the biggest smiles on their faces. You never hear them moan or ask for anything. It really is amazing to watch how these young boys help cook, wash their clothes, clean up around the gym and take care of each other. We have a family atmosphere at Sutai, working together in and out of training to help support one another. Our sponsored fighter Craig Dickson, has kindly been teaching the children English in the evenings. With the help of some friends from Costa Rica, who are supporters of this project, we already enrolled them into the local Thai school. We really want to support these children in the best way, giving them the best start in life possible.