Lacrosse in Guatemala

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Lacrosse in Guatemala

Postby DlaxDad » Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:36 am

Dlaxmom, Conan, Conan's twin, and I are in Guatemala with Common Hope, an aid group, building houses and working with children. We're in the Common Hope compound in Antigua, nestled between Vulcan Agua, the dormant volcano, and Alotenango, the active volcano. Antigua is a beautiful colonial city, stucco walls and cobblestone streets, in a country full of contrasts, but where the primarily Mayan residents of the pueblos live life the way they have for centuries, although putting a country together after 40 years of civil war and state sponsored genocide carries with it a particular set of problems.

Common Hope was started by a couple of school teachers from Minnesota, and today provides schooling, medical services, pre natal counseling, and a wide variety of social work services to affiliated families, so long as a child remains in school, which is a pretty big deal in a country where the average educational level is third grade, and only 25% of students who start high school, a significantly smaller subset of all children, actually graduate.

Who would have thought that lacrosse would be part of the international language of play.

Conan and his brother have been working their butts off -- toting panels, building panels, mixing cement for a shallow foundation -- Common Hope builds modular houses for affiliated families who put in the necessary sweat equity to earn a house -- they're pretty modest -- 16 by 20 or 12 by 16 -- comprised of panels four feet wide -- if the family is squatting, the foundation is 2X2 concrete panels, so that they can pick up the foundation when they disassemble the walls if they have to move.

Some people never travel without a lacrosse stick, and in our down time, Conan has been out behind the compound with a short stick, working the wall. This is usually at lunch time, when there is a line of families waiting to be treated at the Common Hope clinic, frequently with all of their young children.

Talk about Pied Piper action. Conan has been a magnet for small Guatemalan boys, who want to use the stick, catch and throw the ball, and generally make like lacrosse players. Conan has a bit of Spanish, his high school teacher would be pleased to hear,and he's been able to communicate with the boys a bit. So we now have three lacrosse players in Guatemala; we'll probably have 10 by the end of the week. Now we just have to find someone for them to play.

I'll try to post a photo when I get back.

And in the small world department, Conan was working the wall yesterday, and a guy from another work team came into our dormitory and asked who the lacrosse player was. Andy Dickinson is from Chicago, originally from Jersey, and he coaches lax in the windy city. He is a friend of the coach of Team One, the Chicago team beaten by the Alcatraz Outlaws in their first trip to the King of the Hill tournament at Swarthmore, in the finals. And the goalie coach of Andy's club team played at Franklin and Marshall, where Conan will play next year.

Making friends with lacrosse around the world.

If you're interested, there should be a photo diary of our team at http://www.commonhope.org -- I imagine there might be a lacrosse picture on there, too. Our team is the Green Bananas. There's a story there, too, but I can't tell it now. Gotta go build a house today.
Last edited by DlaxDad on Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.
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Re: Lacrosse in Guatemala

Postby DlaxDad » Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:44 pm

So the photos are up -- the link from the last post takes you to the Common Hope web page, and if you click on over to the Vision Team photo diary -- they've used our more formal name -- the Orinda Community Church vision team -- and about the 10th photo is a picture of a recruiting session for the Guatemalan National Lacrosse Team -- the kid's technique is a little unusual, but I think he's got potential . . . .

To go from this post, it's www.CommonHope.org
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Re: Lacrosse in Guatemala

Postby GoaliemonSr » Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:00 pm

DLD -

I'm glad to see Conan is properly attired in a Duke T-Shirt.

=D>
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Re: Lacrosse in Guatemala

Postby DlaxDad » Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:51 pm

This is a story that just keeps getting better. (I know, goaliemonsr, it's hard to believe it could get better than having Conan photographed wearing a Duke t-shirt.)

Conan's coach reports that there already was lacrosse in Guatemala.

Here's proof: http://ama-guatemala.org/joomla/index.p ... &Itemid=89

I know that I've written elsewhere that lacrosse is everywhere, but it really is everywhere.

I've written the promoter to see whether we can take some gear down with our next Common Hope trip. . . . .
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