This past Friday, I had the opportunity to attend a world cup futbol qualifying match between Guatemala and Jamaica! I was so excited to be able to partake in this event with my time down here in Guatemala. Not only did I experience a unique culture, but I found it amazing how much spirit one country can have for a sport.
Before the game, I went and bought a Guatemalan jersey to show my support (and because I knew I would get killed if I wore Jamaican colors). There were about 20 of us that went, and the spirit was alive in the bus. We were talking, singing, and dancing to the music while blowing the bus horn and yelling "Guate!" out the windows at passing cars. Once we got into the city, the spirit was everywhere! People were driving with flags out their windows and people screaming their support for Guatemala! I just wanted to join in even though I had no idea what they were saying! I loved the atmosphere!
Once we got to the stadium and parked, we were ambushed by people all around simply because we were American. The news reporters wanted to take our pictures and we were interviewed on live tv for the pre-game show. Although we only knew the answer to one question, we just cheered really loudly for Guatemala when we had no idea what she asked! I was able to get my face painted before the game and people were handing out free headbands in support of Guatemala. I couldn't get enough of the experience; there was just so much to soak in.
As soon as we made our way into the stands (after being pat down at least 3 times) we found our seats and the celebrating had already begun! Fans were everywhere yelling chants and encouraging their team. The people around us all wanted a picture with us simply because we were American. All I could do was look around and simply stare at the fans waiting in anticipation for the game. There cheering didn't stop once the game started. There was constant yelling and chants from the fans and of course "booing" when the Jamaican team scored. With only 5 minutes left in the game and a tied score, Guatemala made a goal to win 2-1! The fans went crazy and I couldn't stop smiling! Not only did I go to my first futbol game, but Guatemala won!