La Liga en Cuba is a non-profit organization with a dual-mission. Our organization was founded with the aspiration of promoting soccer in Cuba and supporting its rapidly growing community. Through a variety of services, we’re dedicated to providing a safe and positive environment where Cuban youth can develop important values through competition, while giving Cuban coaches, referees and volunteers the opportunity to develop their skills in a professional setting.
In promoting the development of sport in a country, we recognize the valuable opportunity we have as an organization to advocate for social change. By way of our services, we strive to encourage entrepreneurship in Cuba, promote female empowerment, and inspire a positive and active relationship between the people of Cuba and the United States.
The project was started after founder, Anton Buri, spent a year volunteering as a youth soccer coach in Havana. While there, Anton discovered soccer to be one of Cuba’s younger generations’ greatest passions – one that, perhaps, is taking the place of baseball. A long-time pillar of Cuban identity, baseball is a prime example of the country’s remarkable ability to produce some of the world’s greatest athletes and teams in numerous sports despite its small size.
Since leaving, Anton has longed to return to the island and give back to a country and a people that gave to him so much. From those sentiments grew the vision for La Liga en Cuba. In our mission to provide the spark needed for Cuban soccer to become what it has the potential to be, we hope to inspire social change in Cuba, and assist the country in joining the world’s largest and most loved sports community.
Taking place in May through August of each year, our Futsal league includes eight teams from all over Havana. We are proud to be able to give local coaches and players who have dedicated their time to forming teams from their communities the ability to compete in a formal and organized setting. With a consistent schedule and annual occurrence, our hope is that this league creates incentive for teams to train and improve, and builds a sense of community around the sport that over time leads to an overall higher level of play of soccer in Cuba.
In addition to our league, La Liga en Cuba periodically holds tournaments. The concept behind these events is to create excitement around the sport, while giving teams who are not a part of the league an opportunity to play soccer in a more diverse competitive environment. For example, our official representatives in Cuba who also provide referee services at our events have advocated for expanding our project to include a league and tournaments for young women in order to encourage participation in sport and support female empowerment.
Members of La Liga en Cuba who have professional coaching and playing experience travel to Cuba in order to provide workshops aimed at educating and training Cuban coaches. These workshops, taking place both in the classroom and on the field, enable coaches to expand their work, while encouraging the spread of knowledge across the Cuban soccer community. The sharing of tactics, strategy, and technique help to build a stronger soccer culture, and in turn improve the quality of the sport in Cuba.
Our ability to bring resources and equipment into Cuba that are otherwise not available on the island makes it possible for more Cubans to participate in and play soccer. Moreover, having such equipment in Cuba allows us to hold formal and professional events that attract attention to the sport. If interested in donating new or used equipment, please visit our donations page!