Healthy Living With Disney
Coaches Across Continents is delighted to be working with Disney, love.futbol and Think Beyond on a new initiative promoting healthy living within low socio-economic communities in Mexico City and Buenos Aires. Love.futbol are refurbishing safe spaces for play in Boulogne, Buenos Aires and Valle de Chalco outside Mexico City. These safe spaces will be managed by local organizations Revolucion Pelota and Natlik respectively.
CAC has designed local play-based programming with Revolucion Pelota and Natlik aligned with Disney’s healthy living principles. These programs, utilizing the new safe spaces, will address topics related to UNSDG3: Good Health & Wellbeing including nutrition, hydration, physical activity, and promotion of a positive personal lifestyle over the course of 9-12 months. Our role includes a Purposeful Play curriculum, designing monitoring and evaluation systems and online training of local leaders.
This exciting initiative follows on the heels of our partnership with ESPN, whose parent company is Disney, in Sydney and Puerto Rico over the past 2 years. We are pleased to bring this productive partnership to new communities, adapted for local realities and challenges.
Addressing UNSDG 4 in Sonora
Update November 2020. We are thrilled to have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Secretaría de Educación y Cultura (SEC) and Fundación del Empresariado Sonorense (FESAC) which formalizes their use of Purposeful Play in the state wide education system in Mexico.
In February 2020 the CAC team were back in Sonora, Mexico working with PE teachers from across the state to design and deliver Purposeful Play curriculum and Self-Directed Learning teaching methodology to address UNSDG 4: Quality Education.
In the past 4 years the partnership between Coaches Across Continents and Sonora Ministry of Education has provided opportunities for life-long learning and professional development to 500 PE teachers across Sonora state, Mexico, centered on equitable, quality education through sport. Now the Secretary has asked for us to continue consulting for the schools of Sonora, with the goal of reaching all school districts in the state (2,500+ schools and 600,000+ youth). Over 70% of teachers trained by CAC apply the curricula in their classes every week, and over 97% of respondents said they have learned useful tools to complement the objectives of their classes
How do we address UNSDG4: Quality Education in this partnership?
Global Goal Target 4.5: Eliminate gender disparities in education.
– 100% of these Sonoran educators agree that they are better prepared to create equal opportunities for girls and boys.
Global Goal Target 4A: Education facilities are child, disability and gender sensitive; learning
environments are safe, nonviolent, inclusive.
– Over 95% of teacher respondents now find ways to include students with physical and intellectual disabilities in their class.
Global Goal Target 4.7: Learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable
– Over 87% of respondents feel that because of CAC they can support their students in gaining skills
needed to promote sustainable development. The top reasons cited are: we can create consciousness
easily, the tools are extremely versatile, and the content is relevant.
Quotes from Sonora teachers
“ Following the CAC training I do not push troubled students aside if they are acting out. We do not always know their story and it is our role as educators to make them feel welcomed and safe in the environment we create.” – Raúl Arvizu Ríos
“Thanks to CAC I have created a game about a real issue for my students, the changes in US border laws under President Trump, in order to teach them their rights but also to discuss what it means to respect people who are different from you.” – Javier Salas Fierro
“I have seen the children change, for they have the highest self-esteem. Now they look for me if they
have any problems like violence within the family. They trust me and we are solving problems.” – Laura
Elena Olivia Gaxiola
“CAC’s curriculum allows me to address difficult issues in my class because the students can play a role
on the field that they cannot play in real life. It allows them to put themselves in each other’s shoes and
be respectful with each other.”- Veronica Rodríguez
Gender Equality With CONCACAF Women
CAC is delighted to be working with Concacaf W supporting their Next Play programs across the region. So far CAC has joined Concacaf W in Barbados, Los Angeles, and Dominican Republic addressing UNSDG5: Gender Equality in conjunction with Women’s Soccer events.
In LA we trained 34 young female coaches and then supported these coaches to deliver an exciting event for over 160 girls ages 6-12 from the Los Angeles area. These coaches came from all over Southern California and for most of them it was their first experience in coaching – especially in coaching Purposeful Play with a focus on social impact. We were also energized by the participation of several former and current professional women’s football players from all over the Concacaf region – including Costa Rica, México, USA and Canada. And it was great to see an old CAC friend and World Cup Champion with US Women’s National Team in Lorrie Fair.
We are looking forward to using football, CAC Purposeful Play and the Concacaf W Next Play methodology to create more safe, fun spaces for girls in other Concacaf countries in the near future including México. Contact CAC to find out how you can get involved in this exciting inspirational partnership.
March 28th, 2018. Self-Directed Learning Educator, Pedro Perez, writes about his experience working with Fundación Paso Del Norte in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
Imagine you’re playing a game where the purpose is create a strong competition between groups and see how they react. Suddenly and spontaneously the participants decide that instead competing they will start to work all together to accomplish the goal. Well, this is exactly what happened during our week in Juarez.
This shocked me. It was surprising that this kind of situation calls our attention and not the other way around, right? I tried to find an explanation for this phenomenon. The word resilience came to my mind.
Over the years Ciudad Juarez has been a host city of drug trafficking, violence and insecurity. Faced with this situation, people from Juarez – as it happened during the game – have created a system where they are taking care of each other, and where cooperation is more important than competition. They could choose to believe that what once surrounded them was the model they had to follow, but no, they have chosen to create a reality where the collective good is above the individual.
For me that shows resilience. The people of Juarez after years suffering from an environment full of violence came out strengthened from that period, with the creation of a collective consciousness above the average. Admirable without a doubt!
After that week working with Fundación Paso del Norte, and the teachers that are part of their program “Juarez en Acción”, I had this idea in my mind….“Do you know the feeling of arriving at a place, that turns out to be completely different from what you expected? Well, that’s Ciudad Juarez.”
Empanadas, Mi Amor
March 20th, 2018. On-Field SDL Educator, Ashlyn Hardie, writes about her month in the state of Sonora, Mexico with the Secretary of Education and FESAC, working alongside the teachers in Hermosillo, Obregon, and Nogales.
What an interesting time to travel, as a US Citizen, into Mexico to work with the Secretary of Education. In each of the three weeks we spent working together on-field, one of the first issues that teachers referenced was the border with the United States, and the dangers and discrimination their youth feel because of the current political climate and immigration policy debates.
In each week participants introduced, created, and adapted games about the border situation and “The Wall of Trump”. Each game with a similar message, and a sadly negative one at that. For me, an American facilitator, this conversation had to be carefully managed. As a group we each reflected about these issues and how it is making young kids feel, the dangers it presents if we don’t educate them, etc. But as for right now, the people are so offended, that it is almost impossible for them to focus on the remaining possibilities. This however, we came to realize as the most important part! In our last week in Nogales, a border town split between the United States and Mexico, the group of teachers had an incredible conversation on the importance of not teaching kids to accept defeat in this situation, but to focus on the ways of legal immigration. Together we discussed educational opportunities, possibilities through sporting success, relationship, work visas, etc. Most importantly, we discussed the powerful role of teachers in not breading hatred from both sides, but educating on possibilities.
My hope is that the people of Mexico continue to be welcoming to US Citizens, that they do not return the rejection they feel, and that they remain positive and bigger people. My greatest hope is that the American people also continue to/begin educating our youth, our future, on the power of inclusion, respect for others, and handling our business respectfully and tastefully.
If illegal immigration is an issue, okay…. lets fix it. But in the process, let us not offend entire nations of people, who do nothing but welcome us with open arms. For the last 3 weeks the people of Sonora, Mexico welcomed me into their lives, their homes, and their families. They kept me full of tacos, coyotas, carne asada, advocato and galletas. More importantly, these people made me feel welcomed, safe, and happy – in a place where I did not speak the language and entered from a nation of controversy. There are incredibly hard working, good hearted, well informed leaders in the group of teachers from Hermosillo, Obregon, and Nogales, Mexico. They are easily some of the most incredible and professional participants I have ever had the privilege of working with. They smiled at my Spanglish, danced and laughed, brought lots of food, and most importantly – made it clear that they were making an incredible impact in the lives of their children.
I hope we begin to live in a world where we can look out for our own people, while still showing respect, appreciation, and regard for others. I hope that we go back to continuing progress towards inviting diversity, social inclusion, and love for all people. And lastly, I hope that everyone who reads this blog gets the chance to eat an authentic Mexican Empanada in his or her lifetime. If not, I can confidently say, you do not know what delicious is! And on that note, it is now time for me to officially begin my mission to learn to speak Spanish…. Adios Amigos!
P.S. VIVA MEXICO!
Oh The Things To Do In Juarez
April 18, 2017. Process Consultant Emily Kruger reflects on the week with CAC partner Fundación PDN in Juarez, Mexico.
Exploring the modern children’s museum, check.
Exquisite breakfast with Board Members, check!
Meeting with the local men’s professional club, check!!
On camera interview, check!!!
20-minute presentation at the “Impact Hub” in front of a live audience…check?!
Tasting tequila in the bar where the “margarita” first got its name…check?!?
Did I mention that we worked with 40 participants, introducing them to CAC’s sport for social impact curriculum and Self-Directed Learning methodology?
What an incredible whirlwind of a week! Luckily our hosts were logistical wizards, calmly whisking us from place to place with laughter in between. Here’s a quick snapshot of some of these highlights.
La Rodadora, children’s museum, (let’s be real, this is play time for adults too!) in the center of Juarez, was built in 2004 as a space for families and communities to gather, play, and learn together. I had never thought of a museum as a place CAC would find such similarities, but of course it is: “Education Outside the Classroom”…obviously! A few leaders from the museum attended our training, and they were excited to bring CAC games and Self-Directed Learning into their work with youth and families at the museum.
FC Bravos is the newest iteration of a men’s professional soccer club in Juarez and so far they have seen huge success in terms of community support. From the get-go, the club has prioritized the community over results. Their primary goal has been to bring something beautiful to Ciudad Juarez, something the city can be proud of and rally behind together. From the Chief Exec to the Marketing Director to the coaching staff and players, the organization is committed to being a staple of the city, not just a professional sports team looking for more money and fame. After having dinner with two representatives from the club, they brought a handful of the players to our “Hub Talk” as they wanted to learn more about CAC and how they might be able to get involved with the teachers and schools who we worked with!
Which brings me to my final highlight of the week, the Hub Talk. When Fundacion first asked Mark and I to speak at a TED Talk-esque event, we were excited and jumped at the opportunity. Then, as the day drew near, we realized what we had gotten ourselves into and became much more nervous than excited, especially because we thought we might have to deliver it in Spanish! When they assured us that we could speak in English, some of our nerves were calmed but still, neither one of us had ever had an experience quite like that. We spent hours planning what we would say and how we would deliver it so it would not be standard and boring. We agreed that the best way to make it interesting (and make ourselves feel way more comfortable) was to do what we do best, lead an example of a CAC game! In the end, we felt prepared and absolutely loved speaking to the crowd (and the live video feed). What an honor to to be given such a platform to share our stories from CAC! Thanks again to everyone we met in Juarez for showing us such a lovely week!