Sport for Social Change
In 2018, Project Béisbol was selected by the US Department of State and the University of Montana to design and manage a unique two-way international exchange program called Sport for Social Change: USA-Colombia. The program unites baseball and softball with education, cultural exchange, and community service.
USA to Colombia (Part 1): This past November we successfully completed the first phase of the exchange in Bogota, Montería and Cartagena, Colombia during which 16 youth (age 14-18) baseball and softball players and 4 adult leaders from 6 states traveled to Colombia to play ball, participate in gender equality, conflict resolution and leadership workshops, engage with the communities, and deliver over 2,500 lbs. of donated baseball and softball supplies, benefiting over 500 at-risk kids in 11 vulnerable communities. The program was a life-changing experience for all the participants
These activities included a meeting with the US Ambassador to Colombia, Kevin Whitaker, a big supporter of Project Béisbol work, and a pitching clinic meeting with Miami Marlin Tayron Guerrero and the Tayron Guerrero Foundation, one of Project Béisbol key partners in Cartagena.
Colombia to the USA (Part 2): From February 28 to March 11, 2019, 17 exceptional Colombian youth ballplayers and 5 adult leaders from vulnerable communities traveled to the USA and continued the education and baseball/softball activities. During this exchange, they were able to visit the MLB spring training facilities and meet with some of the players for chats and/or short clinics.
This part of the exchange took place in Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. Project Béisbol coordinated a meeting with the New York Mets, Jed Lowrie, and the Miami Marlins, Tayron Guerrero, Jorge Alfaro, and Harold Ramírez, as well as the mayor of Elizabeth New Jersey and softball leader Maria Pepe.
As part of the leadership education, youth participants brought back a bag of supplies sufficient for a team in their city. They had to find an emerging or struggling baseball or softball program in their region, donate the supplies, develop a relationship with the program and serve as an advocate for them through Project Béisbol for at least 5 years.
"We are very excited and proud to be part of this unique sport and educational event between Colombia and the US. We appreciate all the support from our partners, foundations, schools, teams, local governments, as well as the US Embassy and the University of Montana, which has devoted a lot of energy in the process of achieving equality and peace through sports for many years” Justin Halladay - President and Founder of Project Béisbol.