Soccer Without Borders Seminar & Culture Exchange in Granada, Nicaragua
During the U.S. summer break, SWB brings together a team-sized group of high school students from across the United States for nine days of cultural immersion. While in Nicaragua, the group wears many hats, teacher and learner, player and coach, outsider and insider. Participants are challenged to live locally, get to know Soccer Without Borders’ work in Nicaragua, and explore the beauty of a new culture.
There are four main components to the week:
Playing and coaching within the town of Granada and with SWB participants.
Seminar Sessions that frame the context in which SWB Nicaragua operates.
Peer Exchange with our high school aged SWB Granada participants.
Cultural immersion, including the food, the dance, the art, the community, and the language.
A Bit About Soccer Without Borders
Soccer Without Borders first began programming in 2006 to address three critical issues facing young people in underserved communities throughout the world:
A lack of safe spaces where young people feel cared for, have a voice and can experience the joy of sport.
A lack of opportunity for youth to actively explore social issues and community challenges.
A lack of social capital and access to potential opportunities for education, employment and personal growth.
Over the last nine years, we have worked to refine our understanding of how our programs can best address these issues in different cultural contexts. Through thousands of hours, conversations, successes, and failures in 10 countries with youth from more than 65 nations, we have built an adaptable program framework that deliberately addresses the most pressing needs of our target audience while leaving space for authentic local adaptation. Along the way, SWB has benefited from the dedication of many passionate staff, volunteers, partners and supporters, each of whom believes strongly in working to build a more just, equitable and harmonious world.
Watch Founder Ben Gucciardi discuss SWB’s beginnings on the Morning Show in Cairo, Egypt (2010) below, and read a piece by Co-Founder Mary McVeigh on authentic collaboration and the power of sport to bridge gaps.
The Soccer Without Borders MISSION is to use soccer as a vehicle for positive change, providing under-served youth with a toolkit to overcome obstacles to growth, inclusion, and personal success.