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Meet Claudia Carias and Carlos Raba of Guardian Baltimore Gym

Today we’d like to introduce you to Claudia Carias and Carlos Raba. Them and their team share their story with us below:

Carlos Raba was visiting a dear friend in Oakland, California who had recently opened a non-profit, Guardian Gym. They were offering free training to kids in Oakland in Muay Thai, Boxing & Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Brazilian Jiu-jitsu has had an enormous, positive impact on Carlos life and believed that Baltimore could benefit from a similar program. As Baltimore transplants, his wife, Claudia had always wanted to do something to give back to Baltimore’s communities. Together with Carlos, Guardian Baltimore (affiliate) (www.guardianbaltimore.org) opened up officially in February 2020 in an empty storage space in the Remington neighborhood of the City of Baltimore. In March 2020, Guardian Baltimore had to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic but re-opened again in March 2021. As of today, we have 40 kids, ages 6-17 who are receiving free training in Jiu-jitsu, complete with uniforms & a complimentary burrito program (ages 10-17) through Carlos’ restaurant, Clavel (www.barclavel.com). Donations & Adult gym memberships support our youth programs & facility needs.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The toughest part was navigating through the Pandemic & having continued support to sustain the space & its mission.

As you know, we’re big fans of Guardian Baltimore Gym. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Guardian Baltimore gym is a 501(c)3 non-profit located in the City of Baltimore. We offer Free training in Jiu-jitsu to youth ages 6-17. We run on donations & adult gym memberships.

We are proud of offering this program as well as uniting youth from all over the city. Kids learn from each other, learn to trust in their training partners, receive support from mentors, all in a safe training environment. Positive unity brings kids & their families together.

To donate: www.guardianbaltimore.org. Donations support the youth programs, instructions, kids uniforms, kids snacks & facility needs.

Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask if you have any advice for those who are just starting out?
If you have a dream/idea, pursue it. There will be some hurdles along the way but as long as you stay consistent & true to the goal at hand, you will get there.

Wish we knew more about running non-profits & the amount of paperwork needed.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Photos by Calder Powers

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