Over the weekend the community of Altona welcomed a team of 14 and 15 year old Cuban baseball players as part of the Canada-Cuba goodwill Tour.
The Matanzas team along with their coaches, an interpreter and a government official arrived in the community last Thursday.
Team leader Yosel Vazquez acted as an interpreter for the Cuban team. Head coach, Antonio Puente shared the team’s excitement to come to Canada.
“Like any Cuban coach who loves baseball, I feel blessed I get to come here and represent our country. I was talking to the kids of how fortune we are to come here and play baseball overseas in Canada but also we are privelged to represent honorly our country, that is such a big thing in our country to just go overseas and dress in team Cuba.”
Cuba played three games over the weekend against Altona’s Bantam teams.
Puente stated it’s a great opportunity to be in Canada; adding it’s impressive how the community spends time with the team and treats them so well.
“My most humble opinion, I think the most important thing the kids can learn here is how the Canadians treat us unconditionally. They cater us and take care of us in such a brilliant and nice way. They make us feel home in such a great way. That is the most important thing to me the kids should learn and bring with them home.”
Meanwhile, the two teams continue to strengthen their relationship through the goodwill program.
Cuban players Jose Delgado and Derek Ojeda who said during their visit they have made new friends and met old ones.
“We are here making new friends. We are building up love and long life relationships. It is incredibly nice because we are meeting guys we met last year and we are strengthening our friendhip with them.”
Delgado and Ojeda noted they have felt very warmily welcome in Altona and are very happy to be in a wonderful country like Canada.
The team is returning home to Cuba on Wednesday.