Tahuichi in the Media
U.S. Embassy Grants Scholarships to Three Teen Soccer Players in Yungas
As it has been doing for four years now, the Narcotics Affairs Section (NAS) of the U.S. Embassy has granted scholarships to another three young soccer players of the Yungas region, so that they can attend the prestigious Tahuichi soccer academy in the city of Santa Cruz.
This year, the awarded teens are: Luis Felipe Valdes (12), from Chulumani; Abel Pinedo (14) from Coripata; and Mario Chávez (12) from Arapata. This year's grantees were chosen for their performance at a soccer championship played in the Yungas town of Coripata, which was organized by the Bolivian Police Rural Patrolling Unit (UMOPAR), with support provided by the NAS.
The scholarship covers meals, education tuition, healthcare, and other costs during the time the teens' attend Tahuichi Soccer Academy. So far, the U.S. Embassy has granted scholarships to 28 young soccer players from several rural provinces in the departments of La Paz, Beni, and Cochabamba.
The soccer cup, where the grantees were selected, is the fourth championship funded by the U.S. Embassy in the Yungas region of La Paz. The three previous championships' final games were held in the towns of Coroico (2004), Caranavi (2005), and Irupana (2007). This year's was the first cup played in Coripata. This important sports initiative aims to promote healthy habits among the players as well as to encourage good use of spare time as an alternative to using drugs.
As part of this overall objective, the U.S. Embassy has also supported the Tahuichi Soccer Academy since 2003. In past years, the Embassy funded the construction and remodeling of a gym. This year, with a budget of $70,000, the Embassy is funding the construction of a new lodge for 45 children and teens in Tahuichi's Villa del Niño Feliz.
I arrived at Tahuichi without any real expectations. I had been to several previous soccer camps, and each one had more or less the same philosophy: working on touch, fitness, and strategy. I expected more or less the same from this one. When we arrived at the Academy, looking out at the dust bowl, with fields aptly named "The Moon," cows grazing in the background, I wondered what I could possibly learn here.more
As part of its drug use prevention program, the U.S. Embassy's Narcotics Affairs Division (NAS) presented on December 15 school supplies, soccer balls, vitamins, toothpaste, and toothbrushes to 1,000 children, most of them from low-income families, who are students at Tahuichi Aguilera Soccer Academy in Santa Cruz.
NAS Director in Bolivia Susan Keogh presented the donation and highlighted that the consistent practice of sports and drug use prevention are the perfect combination to keep children away from drugs, crime, and gangs.more
Reproduced by permission of BBC
For many children in Bolivia - the poorest country in South America - the Tahuichi football academy in Santa Cruz provides a future and a second chance.
With inadequate food and education, many of the country's young people often take to the streets to try and earn money for their families, ending up involved in drugs, crime and prostitution.
Gustavo - one of Bolivia's top young players, currently on trial at Argentinean side Rosario Central - is one of the graduates of the academy.
He told BBC World Service's World Football programme that he was saved from looking after cars on the Santa Cruz streets when the founder of the academy invited him to train for free. more
by Paul Gardner, Soccer America
Back in 1998, the third year of MLS existence, it was clear that D.C. United was the class team of the league, and much of that superiority was due to two players: Marco Etcheverry and Jaime Moreno.
The beauty of the situation was that both players were Bolivian, and both had learned their soccer playing with the remarkable Tahuichi youth club in Santa Cruz. more (1.5MB PDF)
Ciro Medrano, Director of Coaching for Bolivia's Tahuichi Academy, makes presentation at the convention
Another outstanding roster of clinicians and the return of the MLS SuperDraft highlighted the schedule for the 2004 NSCAA Convention in Charlotte, N.C., where we celebrated "The Family of Soccer." Among the top names in the game who conducted sessions were such international notables as Erich Rutemoeller, Director of Coaching for the German Soccer Federation; Ciro Medrano, Director of Coaching for Bolivia's Tahuichi Academy; and Sam Okpodu, coach of the Nigerian Women's National Team. more
Roly Aguilera's Work Touched U.S. Game, By Mike Woitalla, Soccer America
Bolivia's Tahuichi Academy, whose founder Roly Aguilera died of Lou Gehrig's disease, has close ties with American soccer.
MLS stars Marco Etcheverry, Jaime Moreno and Joselito Vaca were products of the Santa Cruz soccer school that Aguilera founded in 1978. Six other Tahuichis played in MLS...more
Youth Soccer Letter, Soccer America
The players from the Tahuichi Way Soccer Academy have come to symbolize the grace, creativity and power that most players only dream of. more
For Katy Hearey, soccer was the sport you played while waiting for the basketball season to start. She never dreamed it would be her passport. more
Californian Francisco Gomez went south of the equator to hone his skills and hopes the experience will benefit the U.S. U-17 team. more
To be the best, you must learn from the best and the BEST in youth soccer today is the Tahuichi Soccer Academy in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. more
There is something unusual here. No parents. Not a single one. Maybe half a dozen adults, all coaches. For the rest, it's kids, kids, kids all the way.
And when kids dominate the scene, they do bring something unusual–well, if not unusual something different. You're infected very quickly with a pervasive feeling of enthusiasm. When there's a short break in the training, the kids surround you, you're submerged by a wave of happy faces, all talking at once, all so very obviously enjoying themselves. more