Place Where You Live:

San Andres, La Libertad, El Salvador

Panama vs. El Salvador Game in Panama. The Under 20 World Cup Qualifiers.

The warm fast moving Amayo River hides behind the tamarindo and pito trees and immense loroco bushes swaying left and right with the western breeze. I used to cross that river every morning to get to my grandfather’s adobe house from my aunt’s aluminum champita up the village hill, approximately one mile in distance. The dirt road that leads to my grandfather’s house was without a soul most of the time, except for the cow’s and horse’s movements along the brown river and overgrown bushes. Urbanization and modernization was outside my village of San Andres, El Salvador, but that did not bother me.

The horribly built gate that is needed to be open in order to enter my grandfather’s land is always falling apart. The amate de conacaste wood was never completely connected to the barb wire when he first built it and no one has ever tried to fix it because it is the only memory we have left of him. I would cross over and the loud noises of my cousins warming up before our pickup game filled my ears. Kevin, Carlos, Carmen, Karina, Victor, and Alfredito and I created the mini soccer field. Durable nance branch goal posts and the lines created by the bushes and juicy green cucumber plants themselves always caused some tension because we never knew when the ball was in or out. Our yellow plastic fifty five cent ball begins to dance around the dirt ground as my cousins and I begin to play. I move my legs and my arms move as well. My left foot circles around the ball and my right foot moves the ball, my body follows. The salty sweat ran down my back rapidly during every single mini tournament, which consisted of more than 10 games and the sun’s rays caressed my brown skin as the day ended, I loved it because this is where my passion for soccer commenced.

I play on the Salvadoran National Team because of the dirt floors, the river bank that I always had to walk across, and the space behind my grandfather’s adobe house.