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Soccer On A Remote Passionfruit Farm In The Peruvian Andes

Grant Allen/Adventure Tribune
Soccer is the world's most popular sport. No wonder we found a field in the middle of the Andes Mountains on a passionfruit farm.


PERU - As we descended the 15,000-foot Salkantay Pass in the Peruvian Andes, we moved into a dense jungle that marked the beginning of the Amazon Rainforest. After weaving through the valley carved by one of the Amazon River's early tributaries, we came to a small, family-owned property, so we stopped to rest.

On this property, the family had established a small, handmade, wooden market, where they sold water, bananas, Coca-Cola, and their own crop: passionfruit. We had the chance to sample passionfruit that had been pulled directly from their trees. Their passionfruit farm wasn't big, but it gave them enough product to sell to trekkers along their route.

As we sat, rested, and ate passionfruit (you peel it and eat the seeds), we noticed a small set of soccer goals posted up in an open field where the family's donkey was grazing. The goals were simple; just branches of wood that had been posted a fair distance apart. No nets. No lines on the field. Just enough to play.

As we moved deeper into the Andes and came across more villages, we noticed similar soccer field set-ups: simple goals in an open space. We even noticed political paint and graffiti depicting the would-be candidates in a close relationship with the sport.

This proved to us that soccer isn't just a major sport in big cities that have teams; it's a part of peoples' lifestyles throughout the world, whether it's downtown Barcelona or deep in the jungles of the Andes.

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Tom Malone is the Editor-In-Chief of The Adventure Tribune and author of adventure novels, like Across Americana. He is based in Denver, Colorado, where he adventures through the Rocky Mountains while not traveling abroad.
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