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Pictures Report

RTX73HRI
Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
While playing for Venezuela in baseball's Little League World Series in the United States last month, 12-year-old Adrian Salcedo ate tacos and Chick-fil-A, donned a virtual reality headset to envision himself hitting home runs in big league ballparks and marvelled at the lush grass of the fields.

Now back at his four-room house in the western city of Maracaibo, hard-hit by Venezuela's protracted political and economic crisis, the boy's hopes center on his own version of the American Dream.
VENEZUELA-BASEBALL/
RTX73H8R
September 18, 2019
Baseball little league players Adrian Salcedo, 13 (L), Ibrahim Ruiz, 13 (2nd L) and Eduar Pinto, 12 (C),...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Baseball little league players Adrian Salcedo, 13 (L), Ibrahim Ruiz, 13 (2nd L) and Eduar Pinto, 12 (C), talk with teammates prior to training at Cacique Mara stadium in Maracaibo, Venezuela. While playing for Venezuela in baseball's Little League World Series in the United States last month, 12-year-old Adrian Salcedo ate tacos and Chick-fil-A, donned a virtual reality headset to envision himself hitting home runs in big league ballparks and marvelled at the lush grass of the fields. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero
VENEZUELA-BASEBALL/
RTX73H8A
September 18, 2019
Now back at his four-room house in the western city of Maracaibo, hard-hit by Venezuela's protracted...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Now back at his four-room house in the western city of Maracaibo, hard-hit by Venezuela's protracted political and economic crisis, the boy's hopes center on his own version of the American Dream. "I want to make the big leagues and help my mother, so we can buy a house and get away from this," Salcedo said in an interview.

REUTERS/Manaure Quintero
VENEZUELA-BASEBALL/
RTX73H8V
September 18, 2019
Teenagers run in front of an old baseball scoreboard in Los Ninos Cantores stadium in Maracaibo, Venezuela....
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Teenagers run in front of an old baseball scoreboard in Los Ninos Cantores stadium in Maracaibo, Venezuela. Professional baseball, which is wildly popular in parts of Latin America and the Caribbean, has long been viewed as a path out of poverty. And players from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Cuba and Puerto Rico make up more than 20% of current big league rosters, according to Major League Baseball (MLB).



REUTERS/Manaure Quintero
VENEZUELA-BASEBALL/
RTX73H79
September 18, 2019
But Salcedo said his trip to the United States - whose government is seeking to oust socialist President...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
But Salcedo said his trip to the United States - whose government is seeking to oust socialist President Nicolas Maduro through economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure - highlighted some of the extraordinary challenges he and his teammates face. "The ballplayers over there (in the U.S.) are fat, and they're not tired," Salcedo said, alluding to Venezuela's growing problems stemming from malnutrition and hunger.


REUTERS/Manaure Quintero
VENEZUELA-BASEBALL/
RTX73H6T
September 18, 2019
Salcedo and 13 other players from Venezuela's Cacique Mara team qualified for the Little League World...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Salcedo and 13 other players from Venezuela's Cacique Mara team qualified for the Little League World Series by winning a national championship and then a Latin America-wide tournament in Panama. They went on to beat Australia and Mexico before crashing out of the World Series with a loss to Curacao.


REUTERS/Manaure Quintero
VENEZUELA-BASEBALL/
RTX73H8N
September 18, 2019
Two days after returning home, Salcedo woke up in the middle of the night after a power outage knocked...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Two days after returning home, Salcedo woke up in the middle of the night after a power outage knocked out his fan, leaving him tossing and turning in the Caribbean heat. He was so tired the next day that his mother, 44-year-old single homemaker Diana Nunez, had to browbeat him into doing his workout routine, which includes a makeshift weightlifting session with two sand-filled bottles strung to a pole.




REUTERS/Manaure Quintero
VENEZUELA-BASEBALL/
RTX73H78
September 18, 2019
Nunez said she used to serve her son beef or chicken every day, but lately she can only buy meat three...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Nunez said she used to serve her son beef or chicken every day, but lately she can only buy meat three times a week. Pictured, Adrian Salcedo sits with his mother and sister at his sister's house during an electricity cut in Maracaibo.


REUTERS/Manaure Quintero
VENEZUELA-BASEBALL/
RTX73H98
September 18, 2019
Unlike the well-manicured U.S. ballparks, the field where Cacique Mara practices has no grass. A pump...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Unlike the well-manicured U.S. ballparks, the field where Cacique Mara practices has no grass. A pump that used to irrigate it was stolen two years ago and lights, which once allowed teams to practice at night, have been out for years.




REUTERS/Manaure Quintero
VENEZUELA-BASEBALL/
RTX73H8D
September 18, 2019
Funding for the U.S. trip and visa expenses, both for Cacique Mara's little league team and for a younger...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Funding for the U.S. trip and visa expenses, both for Cacique Mara's little league team and for a younger division that won a Latin America-wide championship in Mexico in early August, was a challenge. Pictured, Daniel Boscan, coach of Cacique Mara little league baseball team, speaks with players prior to training at Cacique Mara stadium in Maracaibo. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero
VENEZUELA-BASEBALL/
RTX73H7Y
September 18, 2019
Ultimately, the teams had to rely almost entirely on contributions from Venezuelan major leaguers and...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Ultimately, the teams had to rely almost entirely on contributions from Venezuelan major leaguers and complimentary tickets from airlines due to a lack of support from the cash-strapped government.



REUTERS/Manaure Quintero
VENEZUELA-BASEBALL/
RTX73H8B
September 18, 2019
"When I arrived in the United States I was impressed," said outfielder Eduar Pinto, 12, who enjoyed going...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
"When I arrived in the United States I was impressed," said outfielder Eduar Pinto, 12, who enjoyed going out to eat and playing in the game room in the team's dorm in Williamsport. "When the time came to return, I didn't want to come back. I wanted to stay there."


REUTERS/Manaure Quintero
VENEZUELA-BASEBALL/
RTX73H94
September 18, 2019
While players' families often struggle to buy them everything they need, relief could be on the way soon...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
While players' families often struggle to buy them everything they need, relief could be on the way soon for at least some of Cacique Mara's stars. Many are aiming to join one of Maracaibo's numerous private baseball academies, which provide players with food and equipment in exchange for a cut of any eventual professional contract they may sign.




REUTERS/Manaure Quintero
VENEZUELA-BASEBALL/
RTX73H8G
September 18, 2019
"If he doesn't make the major leagues, it doesn't matter to me, but I want him to study, to be a professional,"...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
"If he doesn't make the major leagues, it doesn't matter to me, but I want him to study, to be a professional," said Nunez, whose brother - like more than 1 million other Venezuelans - has migrated to neighbouring Colombia to find work and help the family. "If he doesn't graduate, he's not going to get a job. Let's hope that by then, Venezuela will have gotten better."
REUTERS/Manaure Quintero
VENEZUELA-BASEBALL/
RTX73H8P
September 18, 2019
Little league players Ibrahim Ruiz, 13 (bottom right), and Adrian Salcedo, 13 (top right), take part...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Little league players Ibrahim Ruiz, 13 (bottom right), and Adrian Salcedo, 13 (top right), take part in a psychological therapy session at Diamonds Prospect baseball academy in Maracaibo. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero
VENEZUELA-BASEBALL/
RTX73H87
September 18, 2019
Baseball little league player Adrian Salcedo, 13, eats an arepa for breakfast at his home in Maracaibo....
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Baseball little league player Adrian Salcedo, 13, eats an arepa for breakfast at his home in Maracaibo. Once the bustling oil capital of the OPEC nation, the city now regularly goes more than eight hours a day without power under a rationing plan that affects everything from running water to internet connectivity. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero
VENEZUELA-BASEBALL/
RTX73H7I
September 18, 2019
Little league player Ibrahim Ruiz, 13, helps a driver to push his car while queueing for fuel in Maracaibo....
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
Little league player Ibrahim Ruiz, 13, helps a driver to push his car while queueing for fuel in Maracaibo. Many businesses have shut down since a wave of lootings during a prolonged power outage in March, leaving a cityscape marked by boarded-up storefronts and abandoned buildings.

REUTERS/Manaure Quintero
VENEZUELA-BASEBALL/
RTX73H7P
September 18, 2019
A card showing a major league player on the ground of little league player Adrian Salcedos sister's yard...
Maracaibo, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Young Venezuelan ball players 'wanted to stay' in U.S.
A card showing a major league player on the ground of little league player Adrian Salcedos sister's yard in Maracaibo. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero
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