The participants prepared for a year, their coaches encouraging them to play team games as a team, respect the rules of the game, teaching them to breathe, play, dominate their emotions and enjoy the game regardless of winning or losing a match.
Football that so empassions any child or adolescent is part of the Salesian educational proposal. A key tool that fosters the good use of free time and transcends into working in and as an association, organization, and being empowered, a protagonist.
The "Salesian Mundialito" is a formative sporting meeting attended by children and adolescents at risk who come from the streets where they live in Ambato, Esmeraldas, Santo Domingo, San Lorenzo, Quito, Cuenca and Guayaquil, a city where the "Salesian Proyecto" works with them.
This year the headquarters was Guayaquil, where the educators prepared all the logistics that a championship of this kind requires. They organized housing, food, game regulations, technical congress, recruited referees and complementary Salesian accompaniment activities.
The support of the Salesian Province of Ecuador, the Salesian Polytechnic University, NGOs and the contribution of other centers of the country made the annual development of the sporting event possible.
The "Salesian Mundialito" is a significant and meaningful experience in the life of each of the players, allowing them to practice football techniques and tactics while defending the flag of their city or town. They also let others know about their respective cultures, sharing it with their friends who come from other geographical regions. They visit the most important tourist sites and sporting stadiums in the country, and have the chance to meet professional players who are an example for them. Experiences of this type, for young people in a situation of risk, become a source of strength and an engine to move forward amid so many problems.
The "Salesian Mundialito" for street boys and girls ended on 21st July. The participants returned to their “homes”, some with medals and trophies and others with great friendships forged inside this context. Each certainly brings home, and in his or her heart, the positive experiences, teachings and memories that are sure to inspire changes favorable to their lives.