It’s a sport that is known worldwide. It’s a sport that sends nations into an uproar. It’s a sport that “glues” millions to their TV’s and radios. Simply put, that sport is soccer (or as it’s better said here, futbol). In Honduras, a person is never too far from a field to play on. There are plenty to choose from: big or small, they got them all. At a field close to our apartment, there seems to be a game going every day. And if a person wants to go to a more professional match, the stadium isn’t too far for people to root for La Ceiba’s own, Vida.

For the people of Los Laureles, soccer is an everyday subject. Here, a person is either a Real Madrid fan or Barcelona fan (better catch up on your soccer knowledge here if you need to). Dare I say, these two Spanish teams catch the hearts of everyone there? With us being in Los Laureles just about every day, we quickly had to choose which of the two teams we were rooting for (and just so you’re not left wondering, Jetmir and John chose Barcelona while I’m alone with Real Madrid). In fact, these teams have been great conversation starters with many of the kids. Asking the kids if they saw the game the other day is a great way for us to connect right away. The kids never tire of talking about soccer, and it’s also perfect for being able to practice our Spanish.

I think it’s safe to say that when it comes to kids, playing “speaks” louder than some conversation. The best thing to play here is, you guessed it, soccer! All three of us on the team are getting into pretty good shape with all the running we’ve been doing lately. And I have to say that I love being able to watch and play with the kids. Being older, I thought I would have to take it easy playing with the kids, but I thinking was completely out of line there. I need to give it all I have to even be able to keep up with them. It’s easy to tell that these kids grew up on soccer. The kids of Los Laureles also have a team that plays every Saturday around noon. So we usually end up traveling along with them to watch them play.

Being in Honduras, I’ve come to the conclusion that soccer is very much part of the culture. I’ve also come to the conclusion that this is one of the more fun parts of the culture. Playing and talking about sports is right up my alley. Soccer is a sport that has given us an opportunity to build relationships.

Soccer at its finest….in 90 degree sunshine.

John having a sweaty fun time in/on the old water tank.

Nick always draws a crowd.

Nature’s water park. From left too right: massage chair, diving board (various heights), water slide, and in the far right (not shown), cliff jumping

Just another day traversing La Ceiba.

Jetmir’s a father?!

Simply a happy boy!

Kids will be kids.

Not a bad view from our apartment.

Neither is this.