Sports

A Whirlwind Week for Cuban Team in West Hartford, Cooperstown, and Greater Hartford

12 Cuban teens and their coaches and translators have been spending the week in West Hartford and the surrounding area. Photo credit: Gary Cohen
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For the past week the West Hartford community has hosted a group of 17 Cubans – 12 teens and 5 adults – in the inaugural USA-Cuba Goodwill Tour, a cultural exchange rooted in baseball but that is about much more than just a game.

12 Cuban teens and their coaches and translators have been spending the week in West Hartford and the surrounding area. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

12 Cuban teens and their coaches and translators have been spending the week in West Hartford and the surrounding area. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

By Ronni Newton

Team Cuba arrived in West Hartford on July 10 for the USA-Cuba Goodwill Tour, and will depart from Conard High School on Tuesday, July 19.

The 12 teens and five adults (coaches and translators) have had a busy week since their arrival, with an opening ceremony, six baseball games, a baseball clinic, trips to Fenway Park and Cooperstown, and visits to the Mark Twain House, Connecticut Science Center, and ESPN. In between, there has been swimming, and lots of eating – although unlike most American teens, the Cuban teens reportedly don’t eat much pasta, nor do they eat much beef.

Despite some language barriers, the Cubans and their host families have had no trouble communicating and hope to be able to stay in touch in the future.

On Monday the Cubans will enjoy a day of fun at Lake Compounce, and Tuesday they will leave West Hartford and will begin the lengthy return to Holguin that involves several bus and plane trips.

Thanks to photographer Gary Cohen for capturing the photographs below of what will surely be lifetime memories for all involved.

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Featured guests at the Rotary Club of West Hartford meeting at the Pond House. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Featured guests at the Rotary Club of West Hartford meeting at the Pond House. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Featured guests at the Rotary Club of West Hartford meeting at the Pond House. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Featured guests at the Rotary Club of West Hartford meeting at the Pond House. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Luis Tiant and Rob DIbble take a selfie at the reception after the opening ceremony on July 11. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Luis Tiant and Rob DIbble take a selfie at the reception after the opening ceremony on July 11. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Mementoes of the trip to Cooperstown. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Mementoes of the trip to Cooperstown. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

At Doubleday Field in Cooperstown. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

At Doubleday Field in Cooperstown. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Photo credit: Gary Cohen

On the way to Cooperstown. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

On the way to Cooperstown. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Warm-up at the clinic on Wednesday. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Warm-up at the clinic on Wednesday. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Bears Smokehouse provided lunch. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Bears Smokehouse provided lunch. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Chompers, one of the Yard Goats' mascots, attended the clinic on Wednesday. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Chompers, one of the Yard Goats’ mascots, attended the clinic on Wednesday. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

At the Mark Twain House. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

At the Mark Twain House. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Mark Twain House. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Mark Twain House. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Cool off with a swim at Eisenhower Park. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Cool off with a swim at Eisenhower Park. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Cool off with a swim at Eisenhower Park. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Cool off with a swim at Eisenhower Park. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. West Hartford Havoc at Hall High School. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. West Hartford Havoc at Hall High School. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Cuban and American flags fly at Hall High School. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Cuban and American flags fly at Hall High School. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Bill 'Spaceman' Lee and Rick Sanford. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Bill ‘Spaceman’ Lee and Rick Sanford. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba and West Hartford Havoc. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba and West Hartford Havoc. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Hartford at Hyland Park. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Hartford at Hyland Park. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Hartford at Hyland Park. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Hartford at Hyland Park. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Hartford at Hyland Park. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Hartford at Hyland Park. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Hartford at Hyland Park. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Hartford at Hyland Park. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Hartford at Hyland Park. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Hartford at Hyland Park. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Hartford at Hyland Park. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Hartford at Hyland Park. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Hartford at Hyland Park. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Hartford at Hyland Park. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Hartford at Hyland Park. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Hartford at Hyland Park. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Hartford at Hyland Park. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Hartford at Hyland Park. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Hartford at Hyland Park. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Hartford at Hyland Park. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Photo credit: Gary Cohen

CT Science Center. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

CT Science Center. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

CT Science Center. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

CT Science Center. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

CT Science Center. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

CT Science Center. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Pizza at Pepe's. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Pizza at Pepe’s. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Pizza at Pepe's. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Pizza at Pepe’s. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Pizza at Pepe's. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Pizza at Pepe’s. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Pizza at Pepe's. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Pizza at Pepe’s. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Visit to ESPN. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Visit to ESPN. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Visit to ESPN. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Visit to ESPN. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Visit to ESPN. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Visit to ESPN. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Visit to ESPN. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Visit to ESPN. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Visit to ESPN. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Visit to ESPN. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Visit to ESPN. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Visit to ESPN. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Newington at Legends Field. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Newington at Legends Field. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Newington at Legends Field. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Newington at Legends Field. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Newington at Legends Field. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Newington at Legends Field. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Newington at Legends Field. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Newington at Legends Field. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Newington at Legends Field. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Newington at Legends Field. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Newington at Legends Field. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Newington at Legends Field. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Newington at Legends Field. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Newington at Legends Field. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Newington at Legends Field. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Newington at Legends Field. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Newington at Legends Field. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Team Cuba vs. Newington at Legends Field. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Closing ceremony and brunch at Hartford Golf Club. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Closing ceremony and brunch at Hartford Golf Club. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Closing ceremony and brunch at Hartford Golf Club. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Closing ceremony and brunch at Hartford Golf Club. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Final game for Team Cuba, a 10-8 win over Glastonbury at Riverfront Stadium. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Final game for Team Cuba, a 10-8 win over Glastonbury at Riverfront Stadium. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Final game for Team Cuba, a 10-8 win over Glastonbury at Riverfront Stadium. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Final game for Team Cuba, a 10-8 win over Glastonbury at Riverfront Stadium. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Final game for Team Cuba, a 10-8 win over Glastonbury at Riverfront Stadium. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Final game for Team Cuba, a 10-8 win over Glastonbury at Riverfront Stadium. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Final game for Team Cuba, a 10-8 win over Glastonbury at Riverfront Stadium. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Final game for Team Cuba, a 10-8 win over Glastonbury at Riverfront Stadium. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Final game for Team Cuba, a 10-8 win over Glastonbury at Riverfront Stadium. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Final game for Team Cuba, a 10-8 win over Glastonbury at Riverfront Stadium. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Final game for Team Cuba, a 10-8 win over Glastonbury at Riverfront Stadium. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Final game for Team Cuba, a 10-8 win over Glastonbury at Riverfront Stadium. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Final game for Team Cuba, a 10-8 win over Glastonbury at Riverfront Stadium. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Final game for Team Cuba, a 10-8 win over Glastonbury at Riverfront Stadium. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Final game for Team Cuba, a 10-8 win over Glastonbury at Riverfront Stadium. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Final game for Team Cuba, a 10-8 win over Glastonbury at Riverfront Stadium. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Final game for Team Cuba, a 10-8 win over Glastonbury at Riverfront Stadium. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Final game for Team Cuba, a 10-8 win over Glastonbury at Riverfront Stadium. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Final game for Team Cuba, a 10-8 win over Glastonbury at Riverfront Stadium. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

Final game for Team Cuba, a 10-8 win over Glastonbury at Riverfront Stadium. Photo credit: Gary Cohen

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