Inter-American Women's Soccer Exchange
Phase 2: June 19-July 2, 2013
Hanover, NH and Boston, MA
Soccer Without Borders (“SWB”) is again teaming up with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (“ECA”) SportsUnited Division for the Inter-American Women’s Soccer Exchange (“Exchange”). The Exchange is perhaps the most comprehensive effort by the U.S. to support the growth of girls' and women's soccer in Nicaragua. Phase one was completed in February; phase two will take place in Boston, MA and Hanover, NH from June 19-July 1, 2013. Read on for details of phase two of the Exchange, as well as a complete list of participants' bios! You can also read the official Press Release here.
In partnership with Soccer Without Borders Boston and with the support of the U.S. Embassy of Managua, phase two of the Exchange kicks off on June 19th in Boston, MA. The Exchange brings a selected group of 10 Nicaraguan coaches and program leaders from the cities of Granada and Managua to New England for a 10-day training and cultural immersion. Hailing from all levels of Nicaraguan girls' and women's soccer, the group includes representatives from the Department of Education, SWB Nicaragua, FENIFUT, and the Nicaraguan Women’s National Team.
This phase will expose the Nicaraguan coaches to multiple aspects of American culture and sports infrastructure including the American university system and collegiate sports at Dartmouth College, recreational youth sports at camps run by Challenger Sports and MTW Coast Soccer, a sports-based youth development program at SWB Boston, and professional women’s soccer at a Boston Breakers practice and game. Throughout their time in the US, participants will learn key skills in facilitation, coaching, technology, and program design. They will also design an action plan and position statement to take home, implementing their ideas to expand and strengthen their local organizations and promote the growth of girls’ soccer in Nicaragua.
Veronica Balladares Gonzalez, Granada. Soccer Without Borders Nicaragua
Estefan Bolaños, Granada. Soccer Without Borders Nicaragua
Jennyfer Canales Ortega, Managua. Nicaraguan Women's National Team
Hassell Chavez Bustamente, Granada. Soccer Without Borders Nicaragua
Eden Guadamuz Galeano, Granada. Soccer Without Borders Nicaragua
Dalila López Sánchez, Managua. FENIFUT
Mario López Mejía, Managua. Salvador Mendieta School
Cesar Morales Rivera, Granada. Soccer Without Borders Nicaragua
Helen Ramirez Montiel, Granada. Soccer Without Borders Nicaragua
Ninoska Solis Quintana, Managua. Nicaraguan Women's National Team
To date, Nicaraguan girls’ participation in soccer remains underwhelming compared to their male peers, with economic and cultural barriers consistently thwarting strides made in the direction of a more supported National Team, consistent playing opportunities, proper coaching and equipment, and a safe space to play.
During the five years that Soccer Without Borders has worked in Nicaragua, the growth of girls’ sports has been steady but slow, with still just one division of a Women’s National League compared to four on the men’s side. Locally in Granada, a girls' youth division has yet to develop in the ever-expanding Granada recreational league. With boys’ divisions from under-13 to multiple divisions for men, girls’ teams are forced to choose between the single division of the women's league, or enter youth divisions on the boys’ side. Last year's women's league had just three teams, two of which were entered by SWB. School-based teams are virtually non-existent. No law similar to Title IX in the US exists in Nicaragua, so limited resources for sport and other extra-curriculars are easily divided unequally.
More about the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ SportsUnited Division: The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ SportsUnited Division leads the U.S. Department of State’s international exchange efforts to bring the global community together through sports. Under its International Sports Programming Initiative, public and private U.S. based non-profit organizations may submit proposals to address one of four themes: Youth Sports Engagement, Sport for Social Change, Sport and Disability, and Sport and Health. Since 2002, the division has awarded 86 grants to U.S. non-profits to conduct programs in 57 countries around the world.