LIFESTYLE

Honduran kids get a break from cycle of violence thanks to American-funded soccer program
Children growing up in rough neighborhoods of Tegucigalpa are getting a chance to escape the violence that surround them thanks to a program called "Goal for Life."
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In this Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014, photo, a childldren of the "Goal for Life" project, wearing yellow jerseys, play against a team from other neighborhood during a soccer match in their newly upgraded soccer field at the Progreso neighborhood in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. When the small California-based Kahl foundation learned about coach Luis Lopez's program using soccer to show children a way out of the violence, it sent money to upgrade the field, buy equipment and rent buses so the children could travel around Tegucigalpa to play other teams. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

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In this Monday, Nov. 22, 2014 photo, 11-year-old Maynor Ayala, drives the ball as he gets ready to take a shot on goal during their first soccer game outside of his neighborhood in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. A small U.S. foundation learned about coach Luis Lopezs program to show children a way out of the violence through soccer, and sent money to upgrade the field, buy equipment and rent buses so the children might move around Tegucigalpa to play other teams. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

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In this Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014 photo, a youth trains in a dusty soccer field at the Progreso neighborhood in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Its been six months since any of the 50 children who train with coach Luis Lopez two hours a day, five days a week, has been murdered in a country where nearly 1,000 children were killed this year. Nor have they joined the street gangs that control their neighborhoods and use children to collect extortions, store and sell drugs and even commit murder. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

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In this Monday, Nov. 22, 2014 photo, 11-year-old Maynor Ayala, center, gets ready along with his teammates, for their first soccer game outside of their neighborhood in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The project that coach Luis Lopez created a year ago on a dusty soccer field in a rough neighborhood of Tegucigalpa is doing well. Its been six months since any of the 50 children who train with Perez two hours a day, five days a week, has been murdered in a country where nearly 1,000 children were killed this year. None has left the team to migrate to the United States, where border authorities have arrested more than 8,000 Honduran children this year as they tried to reunite with parents working there. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

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In this Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014 photo, a coach Luis Lopez watches a practice session, from his wheelchair, at the Progreso neighborhood in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The project, "Goal for life," that Lopez created a year ago on dusty soccer field in a rough neighborhood of Tegucigalpa is doing well. Now the children talk about their soccer team at school and to friends in other neighborhoods, who flock to the island of peace in the capital of a country with the highest murder rate in the world. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

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In this Monday, Dec. 1, 2014 photo, children train in a dusty soccer field at the Progreso neighborhood in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. When the small California-based Kahl foundation learned about Lopezs program using soccer to show children a way out of the violence, it sent money to upgrade the field, buy equipment and rent buses so the children could travel around Tegucigalpa to play other teams. The improvements for the field and team make coach Lopez nervous, because any appearance of having resources in Honduras can draw threats and extortion. The day that one of these guys decides that something about this project goes against them, hell come and tell us that its all over, Lopez said. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

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In this Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014 photo, 11-year-old Maynor Ayala, center, sits on a dirt mound, with his friends in the Progreso neighborhood of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Maynors father wants him to make the illegal trip north to join him in the United States. But for now, Maynor choses to stay with his mother and play soccer with his friends. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

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In this Sunday, Nov. 22, 2014 photo, children watch a music video while riding on a bus, of a popular reggaeton song, called Cute Girls. Most cute girls would die to have a bad boy, the song says, talking about pulling the girls hair and denigrating her. I know you like those things ... I have to shoot, insult you, lose my senses, hit you to be able to love you. The children's soccer coach Luis Lopez was traveling in a different car and didnt see the video. But when he heard about it, he turned furious at practice. Lopez believed that if they were enjoying a video that depicts violence, discrimination, and fast, illegal money, his efforts had been in vain. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

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In this Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014 photo, of the "Goal for Life" train during a practice session at their recently upgraded soccer field in the Progreso neighborhood in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Its been six months since any of the 50 children who train with coach Luis Lopez two hours a day, five days a week, has been murdered in a country where nearly 1,000 children were killed this year. None has left the team to migrate to the United States, where border authorities have arrested more than 8,000 Honduran children this year as they tried to reunite with parents working there. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

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In this Sunday, Nov. 22, 2014 photo, coach Luis Lopez, or "Luisito" as the coach is affectionately called, gets a push from one of his assistants before a soccer game, outside of their neighborhood in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Violence permeates the city like a virus, and Lopez knows that not even a soccer coach in wheel chairthe result of a bicycle accident--is immune. The improvements at the soccer field he works at make him nervous, because any appearance of having resources in Honduras can draw threats and extortion. The day that one of these guys decides that something about this project goes against them, hell come and tell us that its all over, Lopez said. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

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In this Sunday, Nov. 22, 2014 photo, soccer coach Luis Lopez, or Luisito as the trainer is affectionately called, smiles after his team scored a goal during his team's first soccer game soccer outside of his neighborhood of Progreso, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Perez started the program to keep the younger kids from joining adolescents, who gathered around the dirt patch to smoke marijuana, sniff glue and recruit youngsters to run errands for the gangs. Since the American money paid to grade the field, build a fence and new bleachers, the tough guys have retreated. But Lopez knows they are never far, and that his influence may not hold beyond the new fencing. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

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In this Monday, Dec. 1, 2014 photo, of the "Goal for Life" project pose for a group picture during a practice session in a dusty soccer field in the Progreso neighborhood of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Its been six months since any of the 50 children who train with coach Luis Lopez has been murdered, in a country where nearly 1,000 children were killed this year. None has left the team to migrate to the United States, where border authorities have arrested more than 8,000 Honduran children this year as they tried to reunite with parents working there. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

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In this Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014 photo, a coach Luis Lopez, sitting in his wheelchair, directs a training session of the children who participate in the "Goal for Life" project, in the Progreso neighborhood of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Its been six months since any of the 50 children who train with Lopez two hours a day, five days a week, has been murdered in a country where nearly 1,000 children were killed this year. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

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CORRECTS COACH'S LAST NAME TO LOPEZ - In this Tuesday, Dec, 3, 2014 photo combo, 15-year-old Miguel Castillo, top left, poses for a photo while he shows the shoes he uses for soccer practice, top right, and 12-year-old Maynor Ayala, bottom left, poses for a photo as he shows his shoes, bottom right, during a practice session in a dusty soccer field in the Progreso neighborhood of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Its been six months since any of the 50 children who train with coach Luis Lopez has been murdered, in a country where nearly 1,000 children were killed this year. None has left the team to migrate to the United States, where border authorities have arrested more than 8,000 Honduran children this year as they tried to reunite with parents working there. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

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In this Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014 photo, two children jump during a soccer practice at a dusty soccer field in the "Goal for Life" project, in the Progreso neighborhood in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Coach Luis Lopez started the program to keep the younger kids from joining adolescents, who gathered around the dirt patch to smoke marijuana, sniff glue and recruit youngsters to run errands for the gangs. Since American money from the small California-based Kahl foundation paid to upgrade the field, build a fence and new bleachers, the tough guys have retreated. But Lopez knows they are never far, and that his influence may not hold beyond the new fencing. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

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In this Monday, Dec. 1, 2014 photo combo, 14-year-old Jorge Silva, top left, poses for a photo while he shows the trainers he uses for soccer practice, bottom right, and 9-year-old Jareth Varela, bottom left, poses for a photo while he shows his trainers, bottom right, during a practice session in a dusty soccer field in the Progreso neighborhood of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Its been six months since any of the 50 children who train with coach Luis Lopez has been murdered, in a country where nearly 1,000 children were killed this year. None has left the team to migrate to the United States, where border authorities have arrested more than 8,000 Honduran children this year as they tried to reunite with parents working there. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

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In this Friday, Nov. 28, 2014 photo, children of the "Goal for Life" project play street soccer at the Progreso neighborhood in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The project that Luis Lopez created a year ago on a dusty soccer field in a rough neighborhood of Tegucigalpa is doing well. Lopez started the program to keep younger kids from joining the adolescents who gathered around the dirt patch to smoke marijuana, sniff glue and recruit youngsters to run errands for the gangs. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

Honduran kids get a break from cycle of violence thanks to American-funded soccer program

Children growing up in rough neighborhoods of Tegucigalpa are getting a chance to escape the violence that surround them thanks to a program called "Goal for Life."

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