This week in the Peace Corps: Sports for youth development

March 19, 2019

Some rural communities struggle with lack of resources and recreational activities. In my experience, the majority of the people in my community pla
y soccer and ride their bikes.

Most people these days spend their free time at home, watching TV or playing on their phones. As a Peace Corps Youth Development Volunteer, I strive to promote recreational arts and sports for the children and youth in my community. Sports have many benefits like increasing self-esteem, improving teamwork, and communication skills.

The volleyball project came to life with planning, support, and time. First, the Local Development Association (Asociación Desarrollo Integral) constructed the volleyball tubes using cement, sand, rocks, tires, and metal tubes. Then, the Peace Corps generously donated 10 volleyballs.

Peace Corps volunteers ready for a game of volleyball. Photo courtesy of Peace Corps Costa Rica

People of all ages come out to participate and play three times a week. Additionally, a local volleyball coach has volunteered his time to coach to youth on Saturdays.

It has been amazing seeing the project develop. At first, we jumped from different locations and played on random days. Now we are playing in the local community center.

I have seen children interested in learning the techniques and rules. Young adults and older individuals are there to encourage and teach the younger ones as well. It has become a space of learning and having fun for all ages.

A few weeks ago, the Local Development Association hosted a sports day and we collaborated by organizing a volleyball tournament. People from neighboring communities competed against one another. Other Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) came out to support and even created their own team to compete.

PCVs practicing with local community members the day before the tournament. This is the second location where we started playing before moving in to the community center. (Photo courtesy of Peace Corps Costa Rica)
These are some of the children who accompanied me to ask for donations and support from community to buy the volleyball net. (Photo courtesy of Peace Corps Costa Rica)
This is the local volleyball coach that works with the youth on Saturdays. (Photo courtesy of Peace Corps Costa Rica)
While youth and adults are playing volleyball, the children are riding their bikes. Volleyball has brought community members together to become a recreational safe space. (Photo courtesy of Peace Corps Costa Rica)

The Peace Corps photo series in The Tico Times Costa Rica Changemakers section is sponsored by the Costa Rica USA Foundation for Cooperation (CRUSA), a proud financial supporter of Peace Corps Volunteer projects nationwide. Learn more here. To donate to support the Peace Corps Costa Rica, visit the official donation page. Volunteers’ last names and community names are withheld from these publications, per Peace Corps policy.

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Brought to you by the Costa Rica USA Foundation (CRUSA). Brought to you by the Costa Rica USA Foundation (CRUSA). Courtesy of CRUSA
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