Trying to hit a home run in struggling Venezuela

Adrian Salcedo is part of a Little League Team in Venezuela that made it to the World Series - traveling to the U.S. to participate in the biggest youth baseball event.

Many of these kids had never left Venezuela before.

So when they arrived in Williamsport, Pennsylvania they marveled at the lush green baseball fields.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

SOUNDBITE (Spanish) VENEZUELAN PLAYER OF A LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL, ADRIAN SALCEDO, SAYING: "There were different things that I have never seen in Venezuela. I saw a Ferrari there. There were a lot of wood houses. There were no brick houses, only wood houses".

But coming to America was a challenge at a time of extreme economic and political upheaval in Venezuela , says Reuters Correspondent Luc Cohen, who watched the team in action at their home field in Maracaibo.

SOUNDBITE LUC COHEN REUTERS REPORTER SAYING: 'Getting passports in Venezuela now is very difficult, more than 4 million have left fleeing the humanitarian crisis and the government's response in terms of giving out new passports or updating them has been slow. So many of them had to ask for favor from the mayor of Maracaibo or government entities."

The team didn't win the championship and the players are back now in Maracaibo - a city on Venezuela's Caribbean coast hard-hit by the economic crisis.

The kids are once again grappling with daily challenges, like power cuts that keep him up at night.

SOUNDBITE (Spanish) VENEZUELAN PLAYER OF A LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL, ADRIAN SALCEDO, SAYING: "There the players are fat and run hard. They are not sleepy, We are sleepy. We are slim and we are sleepy. We do not run well because we do not sleep well."

With their country crumbling many of these kids see baseball as their ticket out...

Some of MLB's superstars come from Venezuela..including Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera and the Houston Astros' Jose Altuve, leading these kids to believe that their dream to make it to the big leagues could become a reality.

What to Read Next