After finishing a week’s worth of Spanish and studying health policies, it was finally time to let off some steam. My friend Max (a student at the Instituto Cultural and volunteer at En Via) and I set off to the Unidad Deportiva Venustiano Carranza. Or as we call it, the Sports Complex. Going to the area, I was completely blown away. 2 full turf soccer fields teeming with multiple pickup games that anyone could simply join in on. I was finally seeing the prevalence of soccer that I had been dying to be a part of ever since the trip started! Right next to the fields was a state-of-the-art track around which at least 20 people were making their rounds. If soccer wasn’t your particular passion, 3 basketball courts full of kids and adults alike were available. There was also a bike trail that weaved through the complex, along with a 2 story glass gym. All in all, it was everything I hoped for and more.
The locals were extremely friendly as Max and I were immediately asked to play after we ran through a quick warm-up. The mood was lighthearted and soon enough, we felt like we’d always been part of the team. After the game, one of the players came up to us and we swapped stories about our backgrounds and native languages. In one of the most interesting exchanges ever, I learned words in Zapotec and German while teaching them Hindi. Although we had to leave because of the impending rain (who am I kidding, isn’t it always impending in Oaxaca?), I knew I would definitely return many more times before the end of the trip.