Leadership, Respect, and Listening

Photojournalist(s) of the Day: Ghaëlle Roger (Haiti) and Gerald Alvarado Lopez (Costa Rica)

Ghaëlle: Hello everyone, I am one of the participants on the Sports Visitor Program and I am going to share some favorite parts of today. First, I want you to know that I am from a tropical country so I am not use to cold. Fortunately, today was sunny and that was one of my favorite parts --no sweater!

Our first session was at Northeastern University where we discussed the traits of a good leader and how these can be applied to social issues and taboo subjects. It was an awesome discussion! In a nutshell, this day help me to have a better view of people choice's in life and that was the best part of the day.

Gerald: Today was a wonderful day. We had the opportunity to learn about how to be a leaders and also share our opinions. We met with Northeastern University which was my favorite session today. We played a funny game (rock, paper, and scissors), learned many things, and had open discussions on an interesting topic. The director asked tough questions on various social issues and we discussed our opinions on them with each other.

That was so interesting because many people had different opinions about these topic but everyone still respected the opinion of others. Everyone also had the opportunity to share their opinion in a safe space. And that was the most important thing that I learned today. 

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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.

Overcoming Challenges in the Treetops!

Photojournalist(s) of the Day: Juan Moreno Antunez (Venezuela) and Marielis Quintana (Panama)

Juan: Today was one of the funniest days of my life! We had an unforgettable experience at Treetop Adventures and we have pictures to share for the rest of our lives. 

My favorite part of the day was working on the zip line and climbing courses. While doing these we were using some tools that we learned within the leadership workshops.

Everyone was involved in encouraging others to do their best with positive suggestions or explaining the best strategy to complete the obstacle to others even twice if they needed. It was nice to see how we are learning things everyday and just putting everything in practice in a natural way and in different areas.

Today I learned that teamwork is the best way to achieve a goal. Nobody's perfect and you have to trust people and give a chance to everyone to give ideas and to be part of the decision. Then you will see good results and your team will be truly satisfied.

Marielis: Today we had a real fun time at Treetop Adventures! We started our day with some exercises that made us understand the importance of communicating and paying attention in a team. We were able to put into practice what we've been learning for the past few days about leadership and teamwork in a very dynamic and fun way.

I do understand now that if you want your team to get the best results, you're not supposed to take all the responsibility on yourself. Everybody should be able to support and get supported by their teammates, and individual commitment to a group effort is what makes a team work

My favorite part of this day was watching my teammates challenging themselves, having fun, and helping each other at the different high ropes obstacle courses.

As Winnie the Pooh said once: "We're lucky to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard". I will miss you all!

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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.

What Makes a Good Leader?

Photojournalist(s) of the Day: Bryan González Solano (Costa Rica) and Daverlin Fernández (Venezuela)

Bryan: The focus of today was leadership. We participated in two interactive workshops where we learned about different leadership styles and how to be a positive leader. Also, we had the opportunity to share ideas regarding what can we do as young leaders in our homelands to solve problems and how can we express our own type of leadership based on our individual traits and characteristics. My favorite part of the day (very funny by the way) was when we did some roleplaying to represent different kinds leadership --there were some dramatic performances! 

Finally, I think the most important thing I learned today was to assume my role as a youth leader. Instead of pretending or try to imitate famous or not famous leaders, I should not be afraid of being the person I really am because everyone has something valuable to say.

Daverlin: Today was another wonderful day here on the Sports Visitor Program in Boston. We had the opportunity to meet with Teen Empowerment where Ms. Ly gave us a lot of really important information through a leadership workshop. We learned about ourselves as individual leaders and how we can make positive change in our home communities. After lunch, we had the opportunity to meet Dr. Nichols at Boston University. Her workshop was focused on our leadership styles within a team and I really loved the way that she lead the discussion. I really liked understanding the importance of our personality traits (like mine is in the "Influence" category) because we can get better understand ourselves and the styles of everyone around us including our family, soccer team, classmates, etc.

My favorite part of the day was when we visited Boston University. It felt amazing to be there because I'm in my last year of high school and it was like having that feeling of a college student that I would like to be next year!

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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.

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.