During my second week in my 6-week program in Colombia, I got to attend my first fútbol (soccer) game in the city I am staying in, Barranquilla! Our professor had even bought the entire group official jerseys for the team we were going to watch, Los Juniors, so that we would fit in with the rest of the crowd and for a great souvenir as well! I’m very glad I had the jersey- in Colombia, much like in Alabama, the loyalty rivalries between different teams run deep. Wearing the team colors, I got so many cheers and compliments and felt so welcomed into such a passionate cultural aspect.

The stadium, though not as giant as Bryant-Denny, was incredible! The field was absolutely massive and I was shocked that the players would be running up and down the entire length of it for 90 whole minutes! Later, I found out that world-renown athletes have played in this stadium, including Messi and Ronaldo!

Overall, it was such an amazing experience- even though the Juniors ended up losing 3-2. I was able to sit right with locals and experience this game through their perspective. I learned a couple of the team’s signature cheers, heard great Colombian instruments and music, and was able to watch a beautiful sunset from the majorly impressive stadium. I truly think anyone studying abroad or traveling to Latin America should attend a game at some point, as I’ll never forget this experience I had with a group of amazing people and all of the fun I had learning about such an important part of latin-american culture!