[Friendship Cup in Mexico]

MEXICO CITY – Every time we come here to Mexico – whether we’re headed to Chiapas, Queretaro, Guanajuato or Mexico State – it’s always the metropolis that hosts us first. With its 21 million people, Mexico City is one of the most populous cities in the world. The first day of the Inter Campus visit took place off the pitch, as we were hosted by our partner Fundacion Renacimiento in the infamous Tepito neighbourhood. Every time we call a taxi to take us there, the driver asks us if we’re sure we really want to go but we feel safe with our coach Oscar. Along with him, we take Christian and Aracel to school, two youngsters involved with the foundation. The streets are a marketplace, an endless array of small, makeshift mobile stalls, where you can find everything. In the neighbourhood, besides providing basic assistance to adults in need, Fundacion Renacimiento works with street children, who they host – including for long periods. For the last year or so, the foundation has also been taking in immigrant children without their parents who arrive in Mexico from other areas of Central and South America. Like Kelli, a six-year-old girl from Honduras, who lives in the facility along with lots of other children and young adults. The foundation offers a whole host of courses and services, including Inter Campus’ fun and educational offering. This visit was held at UNEVE university in Valle de Ecatepec (Mexico State). There the coaches from the Inter Campus sites in Mexico City, Silao and Queretaro came together to attend a training course run by our coaches Juri Monzani and Silvio Guareschi. Within the university, Inter Campus has ran a project to help 40 children living in poor and dangerous conditions over the last three years. Sadly the crime rate is very high in the area and our work helps the children to develop properly and prevents them from falling into youth crime. The week in Mexico City ended in the Ceylan neighbourhood with the Friendship Cup. Two groups of kids came along to play. The first came from Silao along with lead coordinator Juanjo and Erika from the Peter Pan foundation. The latter group came from Queretaro with Sister Carolina, the new Inter Campus contact at our long-time local partner the Sisters of Saint Marcellina. We would like to officially welcome Sister Carolina and, after five years of running the project, we bid farewell and thank Sister Adriana. The tournament was one big celebration. Everyone wore the Nerazzurri colours, as around 100 boys and girls were split into 10 teams. Each of them chose their team name: Courage, Generosity, Responsibility, Love, Tolerance, Respect, Friendship, Honesty, Integrity and Peace. Not that it matters but the two tournaments running side by side were won by Love and Generosity, though the real winners on the pitch were fair play and healthy competition.



more photos