Pura Vida: For your body

They say that sport can change your life, but for María Cleofas Buajasan Gómez it meant a double transformation.

“I always enjoyed going to the gym for a few hours a day, and despite being a busy professional, mother and wife, I never stopped going due to the mental and physical health benefits,” she tells us.

The young civil engineer, with a strong link to patrimonial restoration works, is the founder of Pura Vida. More than just a gym, the establishment is widely considered the best fitness center in Havana.

“When I stopped working at the Havana City Historian’s Office, I felt the need to undertake a project that would benefit people, and contribute somehow to their well-being. Thus, Pura Vida was born in 2017.”

The venture seeks the physical and mental well-being of its clients. As María notes, “It’s about doing exercise in a gym but not just to obtain a physical image.” The business also serves as a space to practice sports and promotes awareness about health and the body.

Pura Vida offers different training services to encourage comprehensive workouts. Clients can choose between yoga, pilates, TRX, full body, GAP and other classes, and combine them with the weight and cardio machines.

“We have also created personalized training plans for our clients, which are programmed and monitored through a mobile app. For those new to the gym, we have a Physical Conditioning Plan, which teaches them how to use the gym according to their own goals and limitations, in a correct way that doesn’t skip stages and, most importantly, avoids injuries. All routines are supervised by our personal trainers, who undertake a monthly assessment of clients’ progress,” she adds.

More than just a gym, the space has become a club, which offers multiple services to complement the balance between health, beauty and well-being. Massage, facials, and a cafeteria with healthy eating options and ecological products are just some of the services offered.


“More and more people, especially young people, are choosing to practice sports and take care of their bodies and minds. Years ago things were very different, as this wasn’t a common lifestyle and few people spent much time playing sports as a healthy option to ensure a better future for all.”

María notes the focus on promoting a culture of well-being and adds, “We are centered on extending our reach to different sectors, especially children, young people and older adults,” for whom the venture organizes regular sports activities and training courses.

“We reach many people through our social networks, and they learn about this life philosophy.”

The enterprise has agreements with the Manuel Fajardo University of Sport and the National Sports and Recreation Institute, to undertake different activities and film TV programs. Talks are also underway with other entrepreneurs who could be potential suppliers of natural products for the venture’s cafeteria.

“I believe we can help each other as enterprises and our center is open to this type of collaboration.”

Pura Vida stands out for its excellent service in all areas: cleanliness, customer service, decor, equipment, and most importantly, a highly trained team.

“Our training system is designed to create loyal clients, and to meet their goals without causing any injuries. We want our clients to learn how to work with their own limitations, and feel physically and mentally fulfilled. We have managed to create a work team that is like a family, has understood and taken on this concept and, most importantly, is capable of conveying it.”

We asked María if she had any advice when it comes to playing sports in this intense summer heat.

“Each season must be taken into account when playing sports. Keep hydrated and don’t demand too much from your body,” she replied.

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