It’s the simple question that has lead to some of the world’s boldest achievements. In early 2015 we heard about a Canadian organization taking baseball players to Cuba so the teens could play together, learn about each other, and about themselves.
There was a small, core group focused on making the USA-Cuba baseball exchange program happen. In the process, we realized that the idea of teens connecting to other cultures through common interests was bigger than a trip to Cuba, and yes, even bigger than baseball.
Teen Cultures Connect is a non-profit organization formed to provide teens the opportunity to meet and connect quickly with their peers from around the world through the common language of shared interests.
It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
In April, 2018 TCC travel to Cuba will immerse baseball players and ballet dancers in two of Cuba ’s favorite passtimes. We will be touring Havana and Matanzas, connecting with host families, and learning about Cuba’s culture by visiting historic sites and eating authentic food between activities.
The Cuba Baseball Exchange was our pilot program and the first of its kind in the U.S. In April 2016, our team of 18 fourteen-year old goodwill ambassadors visited Holguin, Cuba. Ten weeks later, we connected the myriad international dots, to fully sponsor a team and coaches from Holguin and host them in our West Hartford, CT homes.
April 2017 marked our return to Holguin with 24 young ambassadors, their families, and coaches where we reconnected with our friends, and made new ones.
Choosing Cuba as our first destination provided our players and their families an experience rooted in contrasts. For our players, baseball is one of many sports and activities they engage in. For their Cuban counterparts, baseball is the only activity. Our players have the latest shoes, uniforms, equipment, and well-maintained fields to play on. Cuban teens find a way to playwith little or none of these luxuries.
To thank our host country, we brought with us over 700 pounds of baseball equipment, musical instruments, and much needed school supplies.
Teen Cultures Connect is volunteer-based, non-profit, organization formed in October 2015 under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.