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Caro and Arturo: Peñarol, gender inequality, and football culture in Uruguay

“When you go there, it’s like going to war…”

- Arturo


When I look back on my time abroad in Uruguay, I have nothing but nice things to say about Montevideo, Uruguay and the people. The people are so open to helping you and as a Black woman living in America, on a day to day basis, you don’t experience kindness of that caliber.

I ventured to Uruguay with the ambition to interview fans and document Uruguayan football culture as much as possible. Uruguay has a vitally important and rich football history. For those of you who don’t know, Uruguay was the first country to not only host but also win the World Cup back in 1930. Uruguay played a massive role in the international development of football. Given its history, it was one of the main reasons why I chose Uruguay as my study abroad destination.


Given my ambition, the first two people I had the pleasure of interviewing were Arturo and Carolina.


So it’s February 13th, 2020 and Arturo, Carolina and I meet for the first time outside a cafe across from Pocitos beach. From there, we walked to the beach to find a spot to chat. Once we settled on a spot, I pulled up the nifty voice memos app on my iPhone 6 and hit record.


*I would like to make it clear that this isn’t a podcast.* It’s the raw audio recording from their interview. This is as pure as an HUFC interview gets! In the background you hear Rio De La Plata waves crashing against the beach shore, kids screaming their hearts out, a random man asking if we want to purchase ham or cheese empanadas, and cars speeding down La Rambla. While listening to it, it makes you feel as if you are right there with us…

I could spend endless hours raving about Caro and Arturo, but why don’t you give one of my all time favorite HUFC interviews a listen! After listening, please see below to see what happened after the interview!


Listening ears, this is Caro’s and Arturo’s story…



 


So what happened after I stopped recording? Caro and Arturo having learned about my passion, without hesitation, went up to other people on the beach and asked if they were willing to do an interview with me. How nice was that?

At the end of the beach, Arturo spotted a beach football match and I eagerly agreed to go with them. It was free! We were lucky to catch the last 15 minutes.



After the game, we grabbed gelato and they kindly gave me a ride home to my homestay. Did I mention how nice they were?


When we first met, we were merely strangers but now, they’re fellow acquaintances that I have a fond memory of. That’s the power of football.


In the past, I took pride in saying that there aren’t nice people out there but clearly there are. Truly and honestly.


**Fun Fact: In Caro's and Arturo's interview, Arturo mentioned that he had his Peñarol jersey signed. Caro's brother's girlfriend, who's name is Elo Bengoechea had her father, Pablo Bengoechea, who was the coach of Peñarol at the time ask the team to sign it. Eventually, Caro connected me with Elo! Isn't that cool?! You can catch our interview here!


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