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Amazing! Baseball is back in Chile thanks to Venezuelan immigrants

Every weekend, hundreds of people gather to play baseball in Santiago de Chile

Amazing! Baseball is back in Chile thanks to Venezuelan immigrants

Due to the crisis in Venezuela, many people have left their nation and have reached other countries that host them. In those countries, there are people who work in the street corners selling typical foods like pepitos, tequeños, hot dogs, arepas, among other delicacies. Little by little, they gain space in the streets of several Latin American cities, such as Santiago de Chile. Others even open their Venezuelan food store, to mention a few cases.

Leer en español: ¡Increíble! La inmigración venezolana revivió el béisbol en Chile

Along with the flavor of Venezuelan food, music, and customs, sporting traditions also came. That is why it is not uncommon to find parents and children in the parks of this city, with a glove and a bat in hand. Throwing the ball and simulating a game on a full-base diamond, and celebrating a home run.

This emotion for the hot ball has generated a rebirth of the Chilean Baseball and Softball Federation, the same one that at the beginning of the 90s was about to disappear. Thanks to the foreign fans commanded by Venezuelans, Cubans, Colombians, and Cubans, among others, this passion was revived. In fact, this sport brings together about 800 players in the three fields of this discipline, located around the National Stadium.

"This time is where the sport has developed the most, especially thanks to the foreigners who have arrived in recent times. The Venezuelans have arrived the most. Before them there were Cubans, and then the Dominicans, four or five years ago," assured Andrés Sepúlveda, president of the Baseball and Softball Association of Santiago, to the newspaper La Hora.

That is not a surprise. 8 years ago the Tiburones Club was born, a team that was formed as a tribute to the Venezuelan group Tiburones de la Guaira, an emblematic baseball team of the Bolivarian nation. "In Venezuela playing ball is playing baseball, here in Chile it is playing soccer, but I am sure that when the baseball becomes more popular in Chile, many people will turn to see it," Néstor Ramírez, Tiburones coach, told the virtual media Emol.

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The increase of visitors to the baseball diamond of the National Stadium is not only accompanied by players, but also by families that fill the stands. The lively atmosphere is also filled with Venezuelan fried foods, from the sopaipilla to the delicacies such as tequeños, pepitos, and hot dogs.

Another baseball team that attracts attention in Santiago's baseball diamonds is the Forasteros team, which participates in the A League of the Baseball and Softball Association of Santiago. It was formed by 30 immigrants who came from Venezuela in the search of a better future, to try to rebuild a life that was left behind by the complications in their country, without forgetting those members of their family who are still there.

"There are many foreigners who come to Chile and do not bring their gloves and bats because they do not imagine that they will have a space here, they arrive here, they realize that there is baseball and they order their things," said Sepúlveda to La Hora.

 

LatinAmerican Post | Jorge Hernández

Translated from "¡Increíble! La inmigración venezolana revivió el béisbol en Chile"

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