The photographers from Costa Rica Men’s and Women’s teams were Roger Morazan and Jacqueline Acuña Pérez. Roger (26) from Cartago, is currently finishing high school, and works in a logistics distribution company as a special equipment operator. Jacqueline (32) is a player with the Costa Rica team. She has played football her whole life, participating in events such as the National Games and the University Championship.
How did you become involved with the tournament?
I spent about 8 years consuming substances such as marijuana and liquor. After that time I received rehabilitation to put aside the consumption of substances - and thank God I have left that life behind for about 5 years.
At the end of 2017 my friend Luis Diego Muñoz invited me to the Homeless program, where the coaching staff opened their doors to me to enter the program. They taught me something more important than playing with a ball - I was taught that people who have had addiction problems are able to put aside that kind of life. We can use sport as a tool to help other people, rescue their values and return them to being happy people.
I currently live with my mother, who was always my support in everything. I am a very happy person with all this life experience and I hope to serve as an example and mediator for other people in similar situations.
Who is in the photos? Where were the photos taken?
In the photos are members of the Costa Rica Men's team, both players and coaches. The photos were taken in the Zócalo in Mexico City during the course of the tournament.
How was your experience of the Homeless World Cup in Mexico?
The experience was very nice because we shared it with so many people and their different cultures. It was a very enriching experience that will remain with us forever. The tournament experience is beautiful. For me football means sharing, knowing places, and making friends.
Why is football so important for the Costa Rica and its people?
Soccer is important in Costa Rica to motivate many people to come out of different problematic situations through sports. Football is good for the benefits it gives to different people in different situations, since it is always supportive and inclusive, unlike other sports where people who have had social problems are excluded.
Jacqueline Acuña Pérez
What did you try to show with the photos? Was there any wider meaning with the photos?
The photos were taken in different parts of the Zócalo in Mexico City. I wanted to show the world the beauty and the great experience of the Homeless World Cup, which shows that we are all equal. They were special moments and sharing them with different people from all over the world was priceless. It was an incredible experience, meeting new people and talking to them.
What does football mean to you?
In Costa Rica there are not many opportunities for women in football. I had my best chance playing street football. It helps me to keep going, it has helped me look for a way out of drugs, and given me a new opportunity to live better.
What is the future for football in Costa Rica?
Football in Costa Rica is growing, and we must continue working to have good football opportunities in the country.