New Soccer Field in Cantzela, Guatemala Provides Safe Playing Area for Local Children
love.futbol Inaugurates 9th Soccer Field in Cantzela, Lays out Aggressive Growth Plan
WASHINGTON, Nov. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — After celebrating the construction of its 9th soccer field in Guatemala on October 30th, love.futbol announced aggressive goals for future growth. The non-profit organization mobilizes communities in South and Central America to spearhead soccer field building projects in order to create safe playing spaces for children. After five years in existence, the recently inaugurated ninth field, located in Cantzela, Guatemala, marks the end of love.futbol’s first phase of development. love.futbol’s leadership aspires to build twenty more fields by the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Youth in Central and South America face great challenges when trying to play soccer. Children run barefoot in trash dumps, chase balls through sewage and dodge rushing cars in streets. love.futbol’s model empowers local communities, giving them the tools they need to build and maintain a field so children have safe, quality soccer fields. love.futbol’s unique community organizing approach allows for local leaders to manage soccer field projects alongside community members. love.futbol provides communities with construction guidance and finances the construction materials for the field building.
love.futbol CEO Drew Chafetz said the success of the Cantzela field indicates the organization is ready for aggressive global growth. “Our community engagement model can be applied to a variety of cultures and land settings. We have built nine fields in five years and it’s been an incredible learning experience,” Chafetz said. “We now have the know-how to expand our footprint. By the 2014 World Cup we hope to complete twenty more fields. The projects in our pipeline are very exciting, and we have already made strides in Brazil,” Chafetz concluded.
Before the field’s construction, the local Cantzela elementary and high school students would only be able to play a few tournaments and informal games each year on an uneven dirt patch with rocks protruding from the ground. Because of the field’s poor condition, the students were unable to host official games with nearby competing schools. With a new field in place, the children finally have a safe place to play.
The Cantzela community, along with the love.futbol team, inaugurated the field with a celebration and a public soccer game where local spectators watched youth players compete. Noe Carrillo, a community liaison in Cantzela explained, “People in Cantzela feel a great sense of pride in their work. We appreciate love.futbol’s support in this important process. Children in Cantzela will now have a safe place to share their love for the game,” he said. “The new field is a symbol of what my community can achieve together,” Carrillo said.