If You Think You Can Do It, You Undoubtedly Can!

Photojournalist(s) of the Day: Ana Alaín (Panama) and Danaëlle Dominique (Haiti)

Danaëlle: Today was definitely an enriching day. We started at Suffolk University for a fruitful session based on the meaning and the importance of circle practice, and how helpful tools in including everybody and focusing on who is sharing. We also returned to Fisher College to learn about adaptive sports with three representatives from Adaptive Sports New England. My favorite part of the day was when we were trying to play blind soccer and a partner had to direct us while we were blindfolded. I felt like I was experiencing what blind soccer players might face every single day of their lives, however, I realize that I’d never be able to fully experience what their daily and soccer routines really look like.

I also enjoyed learning about about new sports through videos of the Paralympic Games but the most important thing that I learned today is that in sports, it doesn't matter whether or not you have a disability. Sports create limits. They exist only within yourself and you can change this mindset if you wish. If you think you can do it, you undoubtedly can!

Ana: Today we had the opportunity to learn about the Paralympic Games, an important international, multi-sport event that involves athletes with disabilities. These high-level athletes strive for their dreams, despite their physical disabilities. This is something that fills me with a lot of inspiration to also achieve my goals. I also want to fight like them and achieve what I set out to do. We also have a duty to include these people in our communities by creating new sports techniques where they can participate and so everyone is involved. We also had the opportunity to try some adaptive sports like sit down volleyball and blind soccer.

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The Sports Visitor Program entitled, "Youth Soccer and ESL", brings 20 participants from Costa Rica, Haiti, Panama, and Venezuela to the U.S. for a fast-paced short-term sports cultural exchange.

An Incredible Day with Family

Photojournalist(s) of the Day: Cristhian Mora Quirós (Costa Rica) and Cristiam Castellanos (Venezuela)

Cristhian: Today was incredible! We had a chance to explore the city of Boston and its culture, even more, we went to a soccer match between two professional teams, the New England Revolution vs. the Philadelphia Union. Attending the match was my favorite part of the day because you can learn about the environment around the sport and enjoy it. During my stay in Boston, I've been amazed by the politeness of the people and the organization of the city.

Cristiam: Today was one of the best days ever! It made me realize that it does not matter if you have different flags, languages, or life styles, sports can join us as siblings. Seeing thousands of people cheering and celebrating together taught me that soccer is an excellent tool to make us better humans.

My favorite part today was to forgetting for a moment that we only arrive here one week ago, and to think that I was watching a game with my family. Thank you guys for every moment. And, of course, Happy Birthday, Sheila!

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The Sports Visitor Program entitled, "Youth Soccer and ESL", brings 20 participants from Costa Rica, Haiti, Panama, and Venezuela to the U.S. for a fast-paced short-term sports cultural exchange.

A Week Full of Learning and Positivity

Photojournalist(s) of the Day: Sheila Gelin (Haiti) and Carlos Aguilera Guerrero (Venezuela)

Carlos: My favorite part of the day was when we played "the block" because the play began with one person and we finished with everyone together holding hands like a big family. Today I learned that if we worked together nothing is impossible. On the soccer field when we pass the ball, the game is more amazing and funny.

Sheila: In my opinion, this is the best thing that ever happen in my life! Having this opportunity of playing soccer for a whole week is wonderful! Each passing day here was full of new and exciting challenges. Today was not one of my best days because I got hurt but I received so much support and encouragement from the coaches, especially Coach Katy and Ryan, that even through the pain I still wanted to move forward.

After our last day of camp, we went to the beach which I really appreciated. I watched our group mates play volleyball while I was resting and taking some beautiful pictures.

This week was a week full of learning! Each day I did a bunch of new things and learned to communicate with others while playing and being inclusive of everyone on the team. In conclusion, this week was the best week so far! We really had fun, learned from each other, had positive interactions, and practiced our English skills! I am really thankful to the U.S. Department of State, FHI 360, and all the staff for this great opportunity.

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The Sports Visitor Program entitled, "Youth Soccer and ESL", brings 20 participants from Costa Rica, Haiti, Panama, and Venezuela to the U.S. for a fast-paced short-term sports cultural exchange.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Photojournalist(s) of the Day: Jaykler Mercado Olivas (Costa Rica) and Juliana Fuentes Ramirez (Venezuela)

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Juliana: Today was an incredible day! We practiced a lot of amazing skills and we learned tips about soccer! One the thing that I learned and loved was how to give strength to the ball when kicking and shooting. After many failed attempts, I finally achieved it! 

We also learned how to do rowing with the Community Rowing, Inc. (CRI). This was cool because it showed us that when we work together as a team, anything can be achieved. We also competed in team relays challenging each other and supporting our teammates as brothers and sisters.

Jaykler: My favorite part of today was when we were practicing shooting skills. We learned different ways to kick the ball with all your power! I also learned that even when you have the chance to go alone and kick the ball, you should wait for your teammates to create a better opportunity to score! As every day passes here, we have improved the teamwork and the communication! We are so excited to be part of this program and so happy that we are here right now to represent our countries and share with all the participants and coaches. This an awesome experience that we are for sure going to share with our families and friends all over Venezuela,  Haiti, Panama, and Costa Rica.

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The Sports Visitor Program entitled, "Youth Soccer and ESL", brings 20 participants from Costa Rica, Haiti, Panama, and Venezuela to the U.S. for a fast-paced short-term sports cultural exchange.

Sports Can Change the World

Photojournalist(s) of the Day: Patricia Saint Cilien (Haiti) and Vaniet Rodriguez (Panama)

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Patricia: I had a really impressive day today! I really enjoyed playing soccer in the rain with some famous coaches and players. One of the things that I learned today is that sports can change the world. Sports "level the playing field" so that everybody is equal and seeking to be happy. No matter what happens, the most important thing is to enjoy each moment, accepting everything and transforming them into opportunities to learn.

During my time in Boston, I've really enjoyed the architecture --I find it unique! I have more days left to see more and, above all, I'm having fun!

Vaniet: My favorite part of the day was playing with my teammates --I enjoyed every second! During camp we also we practiced our skills and that’s was very helpful. In the afternoon, we had an amazing opportunity to meet Scott Caldwell and Juan Agudelo from New England Revolution, the professional men's soccer team in Boston. We really enjoy playing with them!

The most important thing that we learned today was to be friendly and get to know everyone at camp. This is important when we communicate on the field like when we need to pass the ball and try to score a goal.

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The Sports Visitor Program entitled, "Youth Soccer and ESL", brings 20 participants from Costa Rica, Haiti, Panama, and Venezuela to the U.S. for a fast-paced short-term sports cultural exchange.

Team Building and American History

Photojournalist(s) of the Day: Randy Ramirez (Venezuela) and Laure Charles (Haiti)

Laure: Today during camp we had Team Olympics and were divided into team of three people each representing a different country. Each country team tried to complete each of 10 different challenges as fast as they could. My favorite part of the day was seeing how everyone was giving their all to win! This showed me that no matter how tired you are, deep down there is an energy that we stock to realize important things in life. The most important lesson that I got today was to focus on what is important because you do not have time to fully capture several moments when you are multi-tasking or have many responsibilities.

 

Randy: I’m going to start by saying that today was an amazing day with the Soccer Without Borders team! We focused on two of the most important rules during this camp which are:

(1) Have Fun!
(2) Create a safe place to play and train.

After camp we ate lunch and in the afternoon, we had the opportunity to learn about American history and culture. We took a walking tour of Boston along the Freedom Trail.

It was a pleasure having the chance to share one more day with this group who is becoming one big family.

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The Sports Visitor Program entitled, "Youth Soccer and ESL", brings 20 participants from Costa Rica, Haiti, Panama, and Venezuela to the U.S. for a fast-paced short-term sports cultural exchange.