Summoning his troops with a whistle blast, boot-camp coach Carlos Carazo trots onto a lawn outside Marlins Stadium and bursts into a high-energy round of calisthenics.
Its an unusually chilly evening in early March, and though many of the campers are bundled up in sweats, Carazo is in shorts.
While pop music blares from radio-station trucks outside the stadium, the 27-year-old auto mechanic barks instructions in Spanish.
For the next hour, between 20 and 40 men, women, children some come late, others leave early jog in place, jump, shadowbox and drop into pushups. From time to time, they dodge a large dog that darts playfully through their ranks.
The cost for this? Nothing but sweat.
This neighborhood is very poor, says Carazo, who came to Miami from Nicaragua at age 12, then graduated from Booker T. Washington Senior High in Overtown. They cant afford a gym. They need motivation.
Which is exactly what Carazo needed last fall after packing an unwanted 30 pounds onto his 5-foot-10 inch frame. Since then, with diet modifications and exercise, hes dropped from 210 to 175 pounds.
With a friend, he began working out at the stadium. Gradually other friends joined in, then friends of friends and curious passersby.
When the class starts about 7 p.m., Carazo has already put in a full day at the shop, and after 45 minutes of high-energy, short-burst exercises and stretching, hell go home and work out for another hour.
The title on his Facebook page Carlos Workout Buddies reads: Its a Lifestyle. Train Like Theres No Finish Line.
Campers go to the page for their leaders confidence-building messages, like, Dont strive for perfection. It doesnt exist. Strive for a better you. Thats always in reach, and You dont get it by wishing, staring or hoping. You dont get it easy. You get it by working your ass off every single day.
Camper Luz Rivera has taken it all to heart; her body is catching up. The 52-year-old grandmother of six, who works with needy families at the Miami Behavioral Health Center near the stadium, says she gradually gained weight as she aged and had kids.
I was 95 pounds, says Rivera. Then I had my daughter and went to 120. When I had my son seven years later, I went to 160 and kept gaining. I wont lie; I was a heavy eater and a couch potato. After work, I would eat and watch telenovelas.
But last November, she began working out three evenings a week and joining Carlos Workout Buddies events on Sundays, such as brisk walks across the Rickenbacker Causeway.
She wears a plastic weight-loss sweatshirt, and has dropped 25 pounds. She replaced lunch with Herbalife shakes and snacks with energy bars and started eating breakfast.
Instead of zoning out in front of the television, she exercises.
Her knees dont hurt anymore, she says, and she can hug herself. Used to be, she couldnt wrap her arms around her own fat.
Hell make us sweat, says Rivera. Motivated? Thats me!
Deimy Alvarado, 23, is a new camper. Shes in sales and in nursing school.
Although not in bad shape, she says she almost passed out during her first class.
At the end of a recent class, which includes about 200 yards of sprint and relays, shes grinning, and says she feels awesome!
This is just the reaction that Carazo wants.
This is not easy, he acknowledges. I tell them, Try your best. Youll be sore tomorrow but I want you to come back.
And most do, with some classes reaching 75 participants.
Carazo, whos had no formal training, offers a varied routine: cardio, muscle building, agility. Sometimes he brings hand weights or tires, for resistance.
Its exhausting, and from time to time, campers give up although he urges them to hang in there.
If youre committed, youll succeed, Carazo says.
Thats the same outlook that helped him support his mother, aunt and younger brother after his father died when Carazo was 19.
He began working at the iconic Art Deco service station at 1240 W. Flagler St., then called Jasah Tire. He bought it in 2008, renaming it Oster Tire in honor of an uncle who helped him finance the deal.
He knows he could generate a nice second income if he charged for the class, but that, says Carazo, is not the point.
People always ask me that why I dont charge but in this life, not everything is about money, he says. Some people cannot pay for a gym or personal trainer, so if you can do something for other people, it makes you feel good, and you make new friends.
His goal: 100 boot campers.
That would make me happy, he says, and thats me: Happy.