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Youth Connections Soccer Tournament a Success in Jinotega

December 18th, 2017

Last week our Youth Connections Program hosted a soccer tournament in Jinotega. Four teams of youth age 13-15 participated, including a teams from Los Robles and San Juan del Sur, as well as Saprissa – a sports academy school from Costa Rica – and another local team. After a few rounds of games, San Juan del Sur and Saprissa made it to the finals. Both teams played a spectacular game, with San Juan del Sur winning the championship.

Ronald Zeledón, the coordinator of our sports programs in Los Robles, organized this event and was proud of all the teams involved. “One of the most important outcomes of this tournament was that it was the first time we have collaborated with San Juan del Sur in one sports event. This was a great way to bring together athletes from both areas of our Youth Connections Program.”

Athletes from San Juan del Sur and Saprissa (Costa Rica) compete in the final game of the tournament.

Ronald also noted the importance of these kinds of events for youth development. “Activities like this tournament are important not only to witness the great talent that these athletes have, but also to see the improvement and development of their abilities. They serve as an opportunity for adolescents to step outside of their comfort zone and be able to share experiences and what they have learned with youth from other parts of the country.”

 

Thank you to everyone who participated and came out to support this tournament!

 

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Learning Gratitude from the children of Los Robles

February 1st, 2016

Written by guest blogger: Anisha Patel, volunteer, GSU School of Physical Therapy

Tucked in the lush green mountain region of northern Nicaragua lies the rural community of Los Robles. The community, built by the hands of its coffee farmers, is not only alive with the sounds of creatures living under the brush of its landscape, but also the joy that surrounds its people. It is here that our student physical therapy group experienced one of the most memorable adventures of our lives.

The most impactful experience for me was having the chance to play with the children of the community. All day, I was terrified. Never having worked with a large group of children before, the millions of ways it could all go wrong was constantly in my mind as we approached the home that would serve as our base. The children were already standing at the porch – silent, waiting. I marveled at their stillness, their patience.

Learning to play duck, duck, goose

Learning to play duck, duck, goose

We were greeted with a kind shyness. As we began to play, the children began to open up and laugh, accepting us without a second thought. Even though I speak little Spanish, it was easy to connect with each of them. We spoke in a language beyond words — one that was filled with gestures, laughter, and a lot of love.

What struck me the most is how much joy these children exuded. They each thoroughly enjoyed even the most simple games. When they fell, they got up and kept running. In the span of two hours, not one of them shed a tear, yelled an insult, or displayed any displeasure. They each rose to every challenge with the grace of the wise old and the unparalleled joy of those who have learned to appreciate everything. From them, in such a short span, I learned the true meaning of gratitude.

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