Life has never been easy for boxing trainer Yecson Preciado. Hailing from Santiago de Guayaquil, Ecuador, he grew up in a drug-fueled, murderous environment. Suffering abuse at the hands of his father, he left home at 10, spending two months on the streets. In spite of these traumatic circumstances, he persisted, driven only by his dream of becoming a boxer.
Yecson was eventually adopted by a family. He told them of his aspirations, and they bought him everything he needed to boxing. The remainder of his youth was spent training under his boxing mentor Chango. He fought some of his country’s best boxers, becoming something of a local legend himself.
It was not enough for Yecson to fight only for himself. He could have easily fallen victim to a life of crime or homelessness, but boxing saved him. And he knew that it could save others by becoming the best trainer in boxing. Enter Trinibox.
What Is Trinibox?
The story of Trinibox begins in 2014. Boxing trainer Yecson Preciado watched as police mass-evicted a suburb of Guayaquil. Given nowhere else to go, an entire neighborhood’s worth of families suddenly found themselves homeless. Never one to just sit and watch injustice occur around him, Yecson was inspired to start Trinibox, a boxing gym that caters to youth facing homelessness.
“I train them until the age of 13,” boxing trainer Yecson tells Your Everyday Heroes. “Then, they can participate in a national game. And I have to train them the best I can because the bad ones don’t go there… Later, they fight and become champions, and only then do they get a salary.”
While Yecson does not charge the families of children he trains in boxing, he understands that simply providing them with boxing experience will not compensate for the hardships that they will face living in Guayaquil. This is why he acts as more than a coach. To many of his students—even those who do not participate in national games—he is a father figure, someone whom they can rely on to guide them in a positive direction, and the best trainer in boxing.
“I have taken children off the streets,” the boxing legend says. “They came, and I took care of them. Some have become national champions… I do not win anything. I do not charge them. I do this because my students are like my sons and daughters.”
One of Yecson’s students, Steven Mina, has especially benefited from boxing at Trinibox: “My life before was smoking, stealing…” he tells us. “I came here [Trinibox] when I was 15 years old. Six months later, I won the Nationals.”
Speaking on his boxing trainer Yecson, he says, “He is more than a teacher. We see him as a father. He is with us Monday through Saturday. That’s more time than our parents spend with us.”
But What About Yecson?
Yecson Preciado, the best boxing trainer, lives to serve. Monday through Saturday, he trains students from the early morning to the late afternoon. But if he doesn’t charge for his services, how does he support himself and his family? Simply put, he works.
“I am a security guard from 6pm to 6am,” he tells us. “Life is very hard for me. I don’t have a car. I don’t have a motorcycle. I don’t have a bicycle. But I have good legs, good arms, and a positive mind. One day I know I’m going to score.”
Most people working a schedule like Yecson’s would understandably be too burnt out to do so much charitable work as a boxing trainer on the side. (We know we would.) But that’s what makes him an everyday hero: he is willing to sacrifice his own comfort for the greater good.
In the words of his daughter Helen Preciado, “I feel proud. Not everyone does what my dad does… My dad is my hero because he is always there supporting us.”
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What Makes Yecson Precadio An Everyday Hero?
All this is not to say that Yecson doesn’t have his own personal dream. But even that is intertwined with his desire to see his students grow: “My goal since I started this,” the boxing trainer explains, “was to see a student of mine fighting in Las Vegas… or at the Olympic Games.”
While his dream has not yet come true, it is not outside the realm of possibility. Considering that many of his students have competed nationally, training an international champion is the next logical step for Yecson.
As appealing as it may sound, a life of comfort is not what motivates boxing trainer Yecson. It is seeing growth within his students, which in turn leads to growth within his community. And his community is more than willing to give back to the boxing trainer when he needs it.
“Sometimes, there is not enough food for my family,” Yecson tells us. “When I see there is no food, I look around: I ask for help from anyone. I have told the mothers of my students… ‘I can’t feed my family. Help me.’ And suddenly, one mother gives me chicken, another gives me rice.”
By operating Trinibox, Yecson puts good into the world, and this good comes back to him in times of desperation.
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Asking Yecson the Big Questions
Seeing that the boxing trainer has lived through enough struggle to fill multiple lifetimes, he has a lot of wisdom to pass down. We were curious as to how he’d answer some of life’s biggest questions. A transcription of our brief Q&A can be found below.
Your Everyday Heroes: Do you believe in destiny?
Yecson: When I was little, I used to tell my dad I wanted to be a boxer. You know, we were country folks. Who’s going to pay attention? But when I left my house, I started to follow my purpose. They picked me up, thank God. What I learned I passed on to many children.
Note: While Yecson is being purposefully vague here, we believe he is insinuating that one creates their own destiny. He knew what he wanted to do, and he went for it. However, he does not dismiss the help he received. Because of his gratitude, he feels he must provide this same help for others who grew up in circumstances similar to his own.
YEDH: What are sports for you?
Y: Sports help change many people. I was one of them. I changed my way of being, and now look at me. I transmit what I went through.
YEDH: What message do you have for your audience?
Y: If you are a person that lives in better conditions than we do here in Ecuador, if you could support us so that we can take more kids off the streets, I would be so grateful.
We have been proud to bring you the story of boxing trainer Yecson Preciado. He is the absolute embodiment of a hero; while he was born into poverty—and continues to struggle to this day—he uses what little resources he has to create huge change. While he does not profit monetarily off of teaching boxing at Trinibox, he can at the very least revel in the knowledge that he is providing his community’s youth with positive guidance.
His students don’t merely see him as a trainer: he is a mentor, the father that many of them don’t have. And while he cannot solve all their problems, he can arm them with the positive mindset needed to endure the hardships of life. To them, and now hopefully to the rest of the world, he is an everyday hero.
Yecson does not charge his students for boxing at Trinibox. He funds the boxing gym by working 12-hour overnight shifts at the dangerous Guayaquil docks six days a week. He has no mode of transportation, and often goes without eating to keep his family fed and underprivileged students boxing.
In a country where those in poverty live on less than $5.50 a day, a small donation to Trinibox can make a life changing difference towards the futures of vulnerable child athletes and the man who has dedicated his life to teaching them.
Please donate to:
- www.trinibox.org/en (English)