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Community Highlights: Meet Carolina Escobar of Namaste Sports

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carolina Escobar.

Hi Carolina, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I started my business Namaste Sports with the goal of teaching children how to be mindful, grow emotional intelligence, confidence and self-love. As a political science major, I grew a great passion for human rights and decided to join my two passions into one by starting a business that allowed me to nurture young minds, and help the community through philanthropy and community-based projects using funding from my business. One of those philanthropic projects was leading the restoration of Ms. Theresa’s house, a woman I met through delivering Meals on Wheels a few years ago. Because of COVID, my business Namaste Sports had to close its doors and go fully virtual. It was around the same time that my longtime friend Ms. Theresa called me in tears, asking that I help her because the City of Orlando was threatening to condemn her home.

Over the next few months, I embarked on the HUGE project of helping bring her living conditions from practically homeless to a complete restoration. It has not been easy. From biohazard cleanup to dealing with the City of Orlando code enforcement, liaising with nonprofits, hosting a kickball tournament fundraiser, GoFundme campaigning, physically cleaning up and patching cosmetic issues around her home and interviewing with multiple news channels such as Channel 6, Spectrum 13, Orlando Weekly and Orlando Business Journal, we are still working! We currently have raised over $35,000 and have a construction team on board to begin working on the restoration of her home. We have a free roof being donated as well as much of the labor for the project. However, we are expecting the restoration of her home to cost us upwards of $100,000 so we need all the help we can get.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
This project has not been a smooth road. I have had to personally stand between the obvious gentrification efforts of Downtown Orlando, led by a local government that did not show its utmost support for the local community until I stood up for Ms. Theresa. I have had to reach out to City leaders to help with holding off Code Enforcement from fulfilling their efforts to take Ms. Theresa’s home. These are the issues I find most taxing. The struggle I have had to overcome as a business owner are unmatched to the struggles of basic human rights that Ms. Theresa have had to face.

We’ve been impressed with Namaste Sports, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Namaste Sports is a mindfulness brand for women and children. What began as a youth program teaching mindfulness through yoga and soccer classes in schools, it has now evolved into a brand that offers affordable and accessible solutions to the daily emotional struggles of women and children. I now also offer yoga retreats, women’s empowerment workshops and artisan-crafted, yoga & meditation gear through my Namaste Sports. What I am most proud of in my business, however, is being able to use my platform to help those in need in my community. I love helping people find their voice and encouraging them to use it. I think it it our duty as leaders to stand up for injustices and change the narrative around misconceptions that seek to divide instead of unite.

What was your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite childhood memories are all the ones that were made playing and traveling with my brother and cousins. My mom would always go out of her way to pick up all the kids, stuff us into her van, and drive everywhere around Massachusetts to make sure we could all get together and play. We would imagine we were the characters from the Lion King, Power Rangers, etc. Hours and hours were spent just letting our imaginations run wild. Tapping into those moments always brings me joy.

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1 Comment

  1. Annette

    May 4, 2022 at 11:24 am

    Beautiful story. Your heart is in a great place. Your photos are so nice and palpable. Wishing you the best. I live in Lake Nona and created my yoga line in 1993. It has evolved and we create a lot of successful custom yoga inspired tanks, tees, and other merchandise. I’d love to help you expand that is that is aligned. Namaste, Annette

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