Goals For Kids – GUATEMALA
Dreams of emigration begin when youth in Central America feel there is nothing for them at home. EPIC’s project, Goals for Kids, works with teens and younger who have previously had no PE in school. This exciting project gets kids moving and is more than fun. They learn to work together, stay healthy and, most importantly, build the confidence that need to take on life. Before starting the Goals for Kids program, it was necessary to involve the parents to get their support and prepare a playground
The popular sports program for teens in the town of San Jacinto has 75 participants playing soccer, volleyball, ultimate, basketball and baseball. Baseball is a new sport for kids in Guatemala. In November for graduation at the end of last year’s classes, there were sports events and the teens also performed folk dances that celebrated their own indigenous Maya culture.
Being in sports provides healthy activity and gives teens a place where they feel they belong. If a teenager is part of a soccer team, there is much less temptation to join a gang because they have a place. Also, there is social pressure from the rest of the team to not to try to attempt the very dangerous trip “North” if they would be losing their goalie for forward!
Before starting the Goals for Kids program for younger children, it was necessary to prepare the playground and to involve the parents and get their support. This year 125 young children participated in classes for 4 through 6 year olds.