It’s amazing how truly global football’s reach is. Whether its a multi-million pound stadium in the UK or a glimpse of green in the rainforest, it makes little difference. The universality of the game has the power to bring people together and score more than just goals.
It’s not surprising then that matches are the highlight of the week even in the most remote rainforest villages. Weekly tournaments in Cool Earth’s Peruvian partnerships are revered above little else.
On Saturdays in Huaracayo, teams come from throughout the community and even annexes in Urakuza to compete in a five-a-side football tournament. Each player contributes a two soles entry fee, and the winning team claims the cash prize.
The Cool Earth visitors are not exempt from getting stuck in. When the local team last visited they were seen as the safe bet for last place and heartily encouraged to join in. This time, however, the visitors didn’t embarrass themselves and won twice. Putting their best foot forward included Nelson, local officer, and Felix, our fish farm consultant.
These football games are more than just a kick-about. It’s a perfect way to spread the word about Cool Earth to neighbouring villages. It’s through events like this that Cool Earth’s model spreads and more communities get on board, defending more rainforest from illegal loggers.
In Papua New Guinea, the Saulea Skeepers draw quite a crowd in their Cool Earth funded kit at home and away. It’s a chance for locals to jump in on the action and make some extra income too.
The beautiful game is helping to strengthen communities and defend at-risk rainforest from Peru to Papua New Guinea. Score.