The dirt road runs along the side of the pitch in San Isidro, on the opposite side the mountain continues down steeply before only stopping hundreds of metres below in what is an open dump. Behind the gates are a few houses made from cement and metal sheets.
The first training session takes part with lots of excitement and enthusiasm under a hot sun. As often happens in South America, the humidity brings a storm and clouds form rapidly above our heads. With the first raindrops, the children retreat with the trees and canopies offering makeshift shelter. We move quickly to follow them without really understanding why to avoid getting wet and find ourselves in the door to Mrs Rosa’s house. While looking at the pitch, she tells us that she doesn’t have any grandchildren who are among the Inter Campus group but she still feels grateful for the sight of children enjoying themselves in front of her house.
“My children have grown up and they live far away, these children brighten my days and their daily shouting bring hope for a better future.” While she talks, she moves in and out of the house taking out large blue and white bins. “The pitch can’t be used while it rains because the artificial material and the iron fences attract lightning.” Local coach and an important figure in the community for the 30 years Mario has joined up with us and he asks Rosa for a coffee while waiting for the rain to stop. “Not a day passes without Mario going to the drinking water tank, not since the sky refilled our barrels and they serve the best coffee in Venezuela here!”
Amidst a very difficult situation, we take advantage of the rain to listen to the community’s stories which are all different and amazing in their own way. We realise that we are just a drop of water in tanks far larger than Rosa’s, but like her, with patience and conviction, we can’t wait to see what the future holds.