Celebrating Copa America!

I am an avid soccer fan and have been enthusiastically following both the Euro 2016 tourney and the Copa America Centenario 2016. This is shaping up to be a big year for Venezuela, which is a big deal for Javiera because her family is from Venezuela.

Did you know that in Venezuela, the most popular sport is baseball, not soccer? Traditionally Venezuelan baseball players have gone on to have incredibly successful MLB careers, so this historically has diverted money away from other sports, including soccer. The people of Venezuela are most heavily invested in baseball and love to cheer their favorite players on, particularly when they succeed overseas and on the international scene. It's an interesting case because in most South American countries soccer is overwhelmingly the most popular sport. Typically Caribbean countries have favored baseball over soccer, and Venezuela has followed that trend.... until recently. In 2011 Venezuela reached the Copa America semifinals for the first time in the history of the Cup, and the country really started paying attention. This year, Venezuela has again advanced to the knockout stages following an improbable win over Uruguay, and an equally impressive tie with Mexico last night. Just like here in the USA, the people of Venezuela are starting to pay more and more attention to soccer and are investing more in their international soccer team. Venezuela is the only CONMEBOL country to have never qualified for the World Cup, but there is hope that is about to change very, very soon. 

On a side note, this picture was pretty quick and simple to put together... and a much-needed distraction to help me unwind a bit. I've been so stressed out lately, and projects like this do wonders to help me keep grounded. ^_^

This image and characters Copyright 2016 Caitlin Baner, all rights reserved.