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Sport for Social Change - Participants - USA

“I was fortunate enough to be selected by project beisbol and was given an opportunity to go to Colombia. In this trip I made a lot of close friends in the participants and Colombians I met. The exchange program allowed me to see the restrictions of poverty and how children around the world long for the things we, as Americans take for granted (clean water, proper education, etc.). In general, I realized how good life is here. I complain about the little things, but seeing what the Colombian kids have to endure made me realize that all these luxuries around me should be valued. The experience humbled me and made me a better person because I saw how after months, these kids came to my town and still showed the same love as when I visited them and even brought me gifts. When I think about it, the experience that changed me the most was visiting Tierra Bomba. Seeing kids play their hearts out on sandy fields without caring about their equipment was inspiring. They didn’t play for fame or to boast, but instead they played for the love of the game. I saw children of all ages living in true poverty, but they never asked for a dime, instead they asked for my name and a way to keep in touch. During both sides of the exchange, I saw the impact that Project Beisbol has had on these amazing kids. They spoke great things about the program and how it goes the extra mile in any way it can. Never did they even think about seeing the Statue of Liberty, a spring training game, or even meeting icons like Jed Lowrie and other ballplayers, but most tragically, they never thought they would see me or my friends again, and this was truly heartbreaking. The communities I visited have benefited from working with the program in many ways. Children got to see and work with Americans, the coaches I met on the trip all showed pride in their kids no matter the situation, and the love everyone shared to the participants was as if they were my family. The program works wonders.“- Bryan Alvarez (NJ, USA)

“It was great and I will never forget about what we did in those workshops and the kids that I worked with. Keep doing it because it will bring he Americans together more with the Colombian kids and I hope I can do this again with Project Beisbol.” - Jonathan Rosado (NJ, USA)

Some of the most important things I learned on the trip were patience, understanding, and appreciation. Seeing a place where they have so much less than we do in the US shows you how much you take for granted on the daily. Obviously not know how to speak Spanish and not being able to communicate too well with the Colombians can teach you to be patient and to be happy with whatever you can do. Being able to adapt to all different kinds of situations that you’re thrown in was really a key part.” - Caitlyn Naginey (FL, USA)

Sport for Social Change - Participants - Colombia

“For me this exchange was a very enriching experience. I really liked the workshops related to leadership, gender equality, perseverance and discipline. I feel very proud to have been part of this education and sports event as I’ve learned so much from it all.” - Juan David Julio Castro (Tierra Bomba, Colombia)

“The truth is, I feel very grateful for this great opportunity provided by Project Beisbol, the University of Montana and the Department of State. Participating in this exchange was a great motivation for me and has changed my life because I have realized everything my parents have fought to get me away from. I would like to thank Justin for everything he has done for us. I admire his leadership and his management skills and desire to work for our communities through sports. I also would like to thank the other two people who have changed my life who are Nicolás and Melany. They also have good leadership and management skills and behave very well and have helped us a lot. My favorite memory from the trip was getting into the Miami Marlins Stadium where I met my favorite player Jorge Alfaro. He is our hero down in Cordoba, and meeting him gave me great joy. I would love to be part of more exchanges because it really has changed my life and taught me a lot. Thank you very much Project Beisbol.” - Josue Vazquez (Tierra Bomba, Colombia)

“I submit this testimonial for Project Beisbol in relation to the Sport for Social Change exchange program in the USA. It was an excellent experience, well the best experience of my life so far. I learned lots of things, I learned to be a leader, I learn how to help in my community, and above all, I learned tolerance. It changed my way of thinking. I will  forever be grateful.” - Wilder David Rocha (Monteria, Colombia)

“The Sport for Social Change exchange program was the greatest experience of my life. I have developed a strong motivation to continue to help and encourage many others, to get ahead so I can create the smiles that were created for me. It was a great opportunity to grow, and see what is out there for each and every one of us. We are all equal and we must accept that we need to fight for what we believe in, and show the world our great talent. I really hope that Colombia can be a part of more exchanges like this because we are a country of few such opportunities. There are many children with wasted talent, and perhaps with programs such as these more lives can be changed for the better like many of ours have been. And hopefully one day, those same people can contribute socially and culturally in Colombia with the knowledge and experience obtained in the USA. Each and every day on the exchange was different and amazing, filled with daily activities with incredible people, going to different places, and created some of the closest friendships with those who wish nothing but the best for us.” - Yolima Ferreira (Cartagena, Colombia)


“When I saw that Project Beisbol, which is an international foundation that helps with implementation for the training and promotion of this beautiful sport, came to the crash, I felt an immense joy as for years I longed to meet them and be part of the team so that with your help we would continue to form boys and girls in baseball. When I received the news that there might be the possibility of traveling for the U.S. I couldn't believe that was happening to me, Project Beisbol has been a great pillar in my life not to say the best thing that's ever happened to me. My experience with this foundation has been very positive and retro-food, I have had a great support with implementation, training and learning in addition to the expansion in several municipalities of the Chocoano territory. Thank you PROJECT BEISBOL. “- Claudia Patricia Perea Moreno (Choco, Colombia)

“I am really grateful for this great opportunity that Project Beisbol has given to these young people who participated in this exchange. I have to admit that this experience was of great motivation for them, especially for my son Juan David Julio, I have noticed a change in the, very strange remains when he said "Daddy, I know it is not easy all the effort you have made for me, I will go ahead with your help, but I have to contribute my grain of sand and work a little harder to achieve my goal." Justin, I admire his leadership, his ability to manage and desire to work for our communities through sport and also in social works. I have been able to realize that they have a great team of work, Nicolas and Melany, I do not know them, but I have noticed that they have good leadership and manageability, really thank you to Project Beisbol and all their team of collaborators, may God continue to bless them Greatly. “ - Ornan Julio Tapa (Padre de un participante, Cartagena, Colombia)

“What impacted me the most about the foundation was being able to further develop my skills as a person, learn and gain a broader knowledge of life, meet nice, gentle and loving people with affection for others. I was also able to gain knowledge about leadership and companionship thanks to the series of activities carried out by Project Beisbol, which helped me to improve my personality in a great way. I give primarily the graces to God and in general to all those people who helped make this exchange possible, for giving each of us young people the opportunity to know a country different from ours. Thank you Project Beisbol for allowing me to be part of this exchange. In Colombia we live in a situation where work, the opportunity to study and practice a sport is very scarce, seeing this and having been in the United States, I have the motivation to get ahead and see that things with sacrifice, care and performance are the more satisfying for your life. I think about my goal as an athlete, to sign with a major league organization and I know that I can achieve it with effort. Personally, whether they should follow this exchange program in Colombia, because of our situation and the lack of opportunities. “- Elian David Altamiranda Arteaga (Monteria, Colombia)

“Well since this sport came to my community, it has totally changed my life why I had never seen this sport in my life and i had never thought of knowing it. Through baseball and thanks to the opportunity God gave me, I was able to go to the United States and meet many parts that I never in my life thought I would know how: Miami, Pennsylvania, Florida, New York, etc. I loved being there because everyone treated me so well, I was able to go to the movies for the first time and I loved everything they offered me. I also met the snow and the sea and had the opportunity to meet many professional players. I loved throwing balls with my favorite professional player, Jed Lowrie who is from the Mets and other than that I thank God, the foundation of Project Beisbol, Jed Lowrie and Justin Halladay for helping me get a prosthetic that I never in my life thought I had to have“ - Jose Mosquera Hurtado (Choco, Colombia)

“I really feel very grateful for this great opportunity that Project Beisbol has given us in participating in this exchange, it was a great motivation for me since I have noticed a change in my life. Because I've realized everything my parents have fought to get me through. I thank Justin very much for everything he did to make everything go super well, I admire his leadership and his ability to manage and want to work for our communities through sport, I also thank two people who have marked my life , Nicolas and Melany, as they also have good leadership, manageability and behaved super well with me. My biggest impact was getting to the Marlins Stadium in Miami where I could see my favorite player who is Jorge Alfaro as he is our Cordoba champion and when I saw him I felt a lot of emotion. And yes, I would like Colombia to be part of more exchanges because they are very nice experiences and at the same time learning. Really a lot thanks to Project Beisbol.“- Ingris Ramos (Monteria, Colombia)

“I would like to thank you for the noble gesture of inviting me and giving me the opportunity to participate in this cultural and sporting exchange. I am very happy to have known a wonderful country as the United States is, to Justin Halladay I thank you because through Project Beisbol has drawn smiles on the faces of thousands of children in Colombia, to all other organizations, thank you very much for doing a dream come true, thanks to Professor Luis Escobar Pocaterra because he discovered in me the talent of playing baseball and softball. I also want to thank all the volunteers and people who were on the lookout and collaborating for this exchange and this dream to come true.“- Angelica Peñata (Monteria, Colombia)

“Hello My name is Patricia Morales Carrington and I am president of the Metropolitan baseball club of Cartagena. The mission of the club is to develop and train young people, getting support has not been easy, many have contributed, but indisputably I thank God that he gave the arrival of Project Beisbol to our club, has been the best. We received donations that facilitated better training for the children and that is why we will always be grateful and proud to belong to the great Project Beisbol family. When Justin informed me that they had applied for a social and sports exchange program, where Colombian boys could go to the United States, I was very happy, but my joy was greater in telling me that there were some places for 4 young people and 1 adult (my thought in followed was "I'll finally be able to watch a GL game"). 16 gringo boys came to Colombia and 16 Colombians and several adult leaders traveled to what we didn't even imagine was going to be the best experience of my life and I think theirs too. My experience was with double vision, mine and seeing through my eyes how those guys were nurturing, learning, exploring and living day by day every itinerary we make. It was truly a tremendous experience. Colombia needs many more trips of social, cultural and sporting exchanges, where our young people learn to know new cultures, nourish themselves with every experience lived, are sponges absorbing everything and return with the desire to get ahead , with aspirations to improve and even change your lifestyle. Their mindset is different because seeing so many volunteers and donors who are part of Project Beisbol, who spend their valuable time serving us and sharing knowledge with us, it somehow makes them want to give back and help their communities and programs they've chosen. Project Beisbol gave them a great gift, not only the trip, it also allowed them to be part of the great family, to be trained as leaders and volunteers, to contribute to communities, not only donation of implements, but of our time. Thank you U.S. Embassy, State Department, University of Montana and thank you Project Beisbol. Dreams come true. “- Patricia Morales (Cartagena, Colombia)

“My experience with Project Beisbol was enriching. I had the opportunity to travel to another country, to meet many people with excellent qualities, who welcomed us in such a way that they made us feel like a family. I was able to have direct contact with compatriots who have achieved their dream in baseball, seeing this as an example to follow and taking them to take them as an example to continue working to achieve my goals through my passion, baseball. I am very grateful to the U.S. Embassy, the State Department, the University of Montana and Project Beisbol for allowing me to live these super experiences.“- Hugo Martinez (Cartagena, Colombia)

From the Volunteers!

“Now that I have been back home in Canada for a week I have had a chance to appreciate the amazing experience my family had with Project Beisbol. I called Justin Halladay out of the blue in the summer of 2018 from Toronto. To my surprise he called me back from Bogota and was very interested and supportive of my idea to come to Colombia as a family as part of Bar Mitzvah volunteer project for my son. We spent several weeks collecting approximately 100 pounds of baseball equipment in Toronto and then shipped it in advance to Colombia. We arrived in Bogota in mid-April, 2019 and made our way to Quibdo in Choco with Justin and his right-hand man Daniel Silbert. Our adventure began with a road trip to Managru where we visited a local school and my son, Shea (12) and daughter, J (14) demonstrated the basics of baseball to approximately 200 interested kids! We were swarmed by the kids and treated like celebrities! We made our way to the local field in Managru where we distributed our donated equipment and had a great afternoon playing baseball with kids of different ages. The next day we made our way to the beautiful Pacific Coast of Choco where we spent time with more kids in Naqui and Termales sharing our love of baseball. Termales was particularly special as we played right on the beach as tides of the Pacific Ocean gradually covered home plate! We also had the pleasure of distributing many Canada souvenirs to the enthusiastic kids. We wish to thank Justin Halladay and his organization Project Beisbol who made these meaningful experiences happen. Justin is not getting rich from this work; he does it out of a true personal passion to make a difference in these kids’ lives through the positive values of teamwork, discipline and fair play that sport provides. With his support we were able to combine our love of baseball, kids, travel, Latin-American culture and giving back to communities in need. Our family gained so much from our time in Colombia! It was a very educational and meaningful Bar Mitzvah experience for Shea that he could have never experienced back home. Gracias Project Beisbol!.“ - Randal Schnoor

“Thank you so much Project Beisbol  for making this unique experience happen. I had such an amazing time playing baseball with the kids from Choco! I'm so glad I chose this organization for my Bar Mitzvah project. It felt great to be able contribute to these communities and share my passion for baseball.“ - Shea Schnoor

“Couldn't speak highly enough about Project Béisbol! It went from a short term volunteer experience to now part of my life. The work is challenging at times, but gratifying and addictive. I'll never forget the practices. I helped organize and run a team at a high school in Bogota and traveled all across Colombia delivering equipment to under privileged kids. Project Béisbol has certainly left a lasting mark on me and I look forward to many more memories with it.” - Leonardo Sen

“Volunteering for Project Béisbol has been one of the best experiences of life. Traveling with the team is incredibly rewarding and it gives you a new appreciation for baseball. You don't have to be a baseball fan to join, you just have to love giving back.” - Daniela Moreno

“I had the opportunity to volunteer with Project Béisbol for 6 months and it was a life changing experience. It was an incredible experience for many reasons; we brought fun, enjoyment, and smiles to children all over Colombia; connected passionate people in communities to foster better societies; and helped facilitate meaningful change with some amazing children. This experience impacted my life for the better and I am forever grateful for meeting all the amazing people that are involved in Project Béisbol. I would highly recommend getting together with this organization in any way possible, you will have the time of your life!” - Kyle Wiebe

“I volunteered with Project Béisbol last summer and it was absolutely an incredible experience. I was able to drastically improve my Spanish speaking skills while spreading the game that I fell in love with as a kid. Everyone in the program was extremely welcoming and made my first international experience something I will cherish forever. I encourage anyone interested to volunteer with Project Béisbol as the joy it brings to the kids is amazing!” - Andrew Boylan

“I really enjoyed my time volunteering with Project Béisbol! We did a lot of great working bringing baseball to kids and communities that really want it and love to play! Working with young people, and seeing your impact on their lives is definitely a fun and rewarding experience!” - Nick Brown

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