GRANADA TEAM BIOGRAPHIES //
Veronica Balladares, Co-Director || Granada, Nicaragua
Veronica Balladares was one of five original SWB Granada coaches in 2008, having seen the program grow since its inception. With a college degree in psychology, Veronica has integrated socio-emotional support and a focus on educational outcomes into the program's weekly activities. One of the most well-respected female players in Granada, Veronica was a mainstay defender and captain of the Granada premier team during its time in the First Division. Veronica has completed several SWB coaching courses, and earned a FIFA youth coaching certification in 2014. Prior to being named Co-Director in 2015, Veronica coached part-time with SWB, leading Team Sweet Lake while holding a full-time job with the Ministry of Health. She was selected to participate in the streetfootballworld-led State Department Exchange between the U.S., Nicaragua, and Colombia, and serves as the SWB representative to the streetfootballworld network in Latin America.
Cesar Morales, Co-Director || Granada, Nicaragua
Cesar has been a part of the program since the very beginning. A well-known figure in the soccer community in Granada, he is team captain and center midfielder in the local men's league for his team FC Carillera. Cesar became the Education Program Coordinator and Bookkeeper in 2014, and joined Veronica as the first-ever Nicaraguan Director in 2015. He holds a college degree in accounting, and coaches Team Fenix in addition to his responsibilities as Co-Director. Cesar is nearly fluent in English and continues to invest in professional development through participation in leadership courses, the U.S. State Department SportsUnited Exchange, and the SWB Program Leaders' Retreat.
Fatima Lopez, School Outreach Coordinator, Head Coach || Granada, Nicaragua
Fatima Lopez joined FSF as a coach in 2009 after being a participant for three years. She started playing soccer when she was 14 years old and didn’t know much about the sport. Through being a participant and playing with FSF, Fatima learned how to coach. Now, she coaches the FSF Leonas and serves as a positive role model in the girls lives. Fatima wants to pursue a career in Physical Education.
Lisbeth Calderon, Education Program Coordinator, Head Coach || Granada, Nicaragua
Lisbeth Calderon became a member of the FSF Staff in the beginning 2016. Prior to FSF, she worked at two local organizations in Granada, Building New and Hotel Con Corazon. At both she taught primary school children in the city and in rural areas. This is her first experience as a soccer coach and has enjoyed learning as she goes! When she isn’t on the field or helping the girls with school work, she enjoys taking English classes at a local school and exploring the beautiful nature within Nicaragua.
Joselyn Meneses, School Outreach Coordinator, Head Coach || Granada, Nicaragua
Joselyn Meneses has been a coach since starting in 2015. After receiving her degree in Scientific Law from the Universidad Popular de Nicaragua she transitioned into working at FSF. Her playing history starts with her high school team where she also ran track. Another passion of hers is helping with Comedor De Amor y Melodia, a project which she runs alongside her family that focuses on facilitating youth workshops on various life skills.
Helen Ramirez, Education Program Coordinator, Head Coach || Granada, Nicaragua
Bio coming soon!
Erik Victor, Goalie Coach || Granada, Nicaragua
Erik Victor joined FSF as the goalie coach in 2016. Before joining the team, he assisted with a group that helped people leave lives of drugs and alcohol to find prosperity. Growing up he played a lot of soccer in his community before getting a chance to participate in one of Granada’s local leagues. When his playing career came to an end, he decided to coach boys. Now, in addition to coaching a boys team outside of FSF, he serves as our goalie coach and assists in daily school visits.
Francisco Castillo, Assistant Coach || Granada, Nicaragua
Francisco Castillo also became a key member of FSF in 2016. Just like our other trainers, Francisco has a long coaching and playing history. He began at Sports College which was a mini athletic complex in Granada that was home to all things sports from judo to soccer for people of all ages. Francisco has played for four years in Granada’s Second Division and now plays alongside Cesar on FC Carillera.
Rosa Urbina, Head Coach || Granada, Nicaragua
Upon joining the SWB Granada staff in January 2018, Rosa stepped into the role of Head Coach of SWB’s youngest (and newest) team, Las Ovejitas. Before coaching Las Ovejitas, Rosa took part in SWB as a program participant, first playing for Las Mariposas Seniors in 2009. Since that time, Rosa continued to play as a center midfielder for FSF’s older teams and was selected as both a secondary school scholarship recipient as well as a member of the FSF Leadership Group. In coaching Las Ovejitas, Rosa often draws from her own experience playing on her first soccer team, supporting her players in growing their love for the game. As a coach, Rosa loves being able to share her passion for football and witness her team enjoying time together. Rosa is a graduate of Colegio Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. When she is not on the field coaching, Rosa can be found spending time with her friends and family.
Francisca Alvarez, Head Coach || Granada, Nicaragua
Francisca, aka Pancha, joined the SWB staff in June 2018, as the Head Coach for FC Arcoiris, the youngest team in the neighborhood of Granada known as La Villa. Although Pancha joined the SWB staff in 2018, she was no stranger to SWB. A long time player and participant of the program, Pancha’s first experience playing with SWB was in 2014 as a striker for FC Estrellas. As Pancha moved into secondary school, she also earned a place in SWB’s Leadership Group and a secondary school scholarship. Through her work with the Leadership Group, Pancha embraced coaching, stepping in to serve as an assistant coach for the younger teams while still playing with SWB’s oldest teams. Pancha is a graduate of the Instituto Nacional de Oriente and finds the most enjoyable part of her work to be passing time with FC Arcoiris and support their soccer skill development and personal growth. In her spare time, Pancha loves to spend time with her friends and family.
Kimberly Diaz, Head Coach || Granada, Nicaragua
Bio coming soon!