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Soccer Is A Path Away From Gangs, Drugs For Kids In Honduras
Children in Honduras are using soccer as a way to get away from the gang-controlled slums.
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In this Monday, March 3, 2014 photo, 11-year-old Maynor Ayala holds a soccer ball as he poses for a portrait before practice at his neighborhood's pitch in Progreso, Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Maynor allows himself to imagine going all the way to the World Cup one day, just like one of his heroes, Emilio Izaguirre, who will play in Brazil this summer on the Honduran national team. I want to be a soccer player, Maynor says. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)

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In this Friday, March 7, 2014 photo, 11-year-old Maynor Ayala kicks the ball during soccer practice in his Progreso neighborhood in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Maynor 's coach tells them that futbol will keep them out of trouble, and they agree that is what they want. Yet Maynor says it is harder to stay out of the gangs than to join. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)

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In this Thursday, March 6, 2014 photo, children use the fence as a finish line as they run sprints during their soccer practice in the Progreso neighborhood of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The soccer field is the handiwork of Chelato Ucles, the godfather of Honduran soccer. Chelato was the manager of the first Honduran national team ever to make it to the World Cup--to Spain in 1982--and for that he became a national hero as well as a member of parliament for a time. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)

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In this Wednesday, March 5, 2014 photo, a girl kicks the soccer ball as coach Luis Lopez watches from his wheelchair in the Progreso neighborhood of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Luis, or Luisito as the trainer is affectionately called, is teaching these boys and girls to play soccer, knowing that the real game for them is to stay alive. Behind on the wall next to the field is a passage in Spanish from Proverbs, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)

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In this Friday, March 7, 2014 composite made with four photos, clockwise from top left are young soccer players Maynor Ayala, Carlos Galeano wearing a Honduras jersey, his brother Jose Gabriel Galeano wearing a Barcelona jersey, and Davinson Joan Avila posing for portraits as they flex their biceps at the soccer field in their Progreso neighborhood in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Soccer is one of the topics Maynor and his friends usually talk about, along with gangs, violence and God. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)

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In this Wednesday, March 5, 2014 photo, a young soccer player watches his national team play a friendly match with Venezuela on a TV placed in the main street of the Progreso neighborhood in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. As often when the national team plays, one of the neighbors will haul a television screen out to the street so the children can watch together. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)

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n this Monday, March 3, 2014 photo, soccer coach Luis Lopez, or Luisito as the trainer is affectionately called, sits in his wheelchair in the middle of the pitch as one of his students lies next to him in the Progreso neighborhood of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. More than three quarters of Tegucigalpa is made up of slums that are controlled or contested by gangsters who send minors out to collect their extortion money, selling drugs and make good on their death threats. Luisito felt he had to do something, so last June he began meeting with parents to propose a youth soccer program. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)

Soccer Is A Path Away From Gangs, Drugs For Kids In Honduras

Children in Honduras are using soccer as a way to get away from the gang-controlled slums.

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