SANTA MARTA – Bastidas is a neighbourhood in Santa Marta in which children
and their families struggle on a daily basis with the pitfalls and laws
dictated by crime and drug trafficking. As is the case with many cities in
Colombia, Santa Marta is not short on contradictions, being a tourist
destination that receives visitors from all over Central and South America.
There are 100 children that, along with local liaison Oscar Bolaño and
coach Julio, play on a daily basis on the neighbourhood’s pitch, which bears
the blue and black colours of Inter. The SyS Foundation and its president Oscar
Ariza work to monitor the children’s scholastic obligations, thus ensuring that
the Inter Campus kids, who come to the pitch to train and have fun, keep up
their promise of regularly going to class.
During the recent visit, Inter Campus coaches Juri Monzani and Andrea
Galbiati, accompanied by Aldo Montinaro and long-serving Inter Campus Colombia
coordinator Ricardo Martinez, were able to check up on the progress of the children
and local coaches with regard to the training and educational programmes that
have been undertaken.
The trip had its share of happy moments, such as the one on the final
day when Oscar Bolaño organised a big surprise party at a sports centre, which
allowed the children to take part in a thrilling tournament on a lovely synthetic
pitch in the centre of the city.