Women’s Kickball in Nicaragua

Posted by Holly Wilson on Dec 11, 2018 4:09:36 PM

Watching from the dugout of the women’s kickball team in California was a real treat.

Since women’s sports in Nicaragua is very limited, I was lucky that I made it in time for the start of the game.

There was a sharp-eyed woman that was keeping score and calling out names, instructing the team members on some plays. I knew her as one of the well-known faces of the Gran Pacifica Resort, Veronica Gutierrez Cruz. There were also plenty of moms, dads, uncles, brothers, and spouses all milling about talking and watching the game.

Margelly Zuniga, the team captain, was observing the game. She was quite vocal about what was happening throughout the game. Margelly has been playing for five years in California. She is related to half of the community, so she can always find a few more team members if needed!

Team Captain Margelly ZunigaTeam Captain Margelly Zuniga

The Gran Pacifica kickball team began playing with the California team in late 2016. The team was organized by Joanne Stoltz and is comprised of Gran Pacifica staff members and residents. Margelly, Angela Smetana, Ellen Roose, and Becky Niklas from Gran Pacifica all supported the team uniforms. Angela, a former resident of Gran Pacifica, had played sports in the U.S. for 15 years and was a highly desired kickball player. Being foreign to the rules of Nicaragua’s game, she noticed some fundamental differences in the game.

Team Members 2018Team Members 2018

Angela noticed one key difference when playing on a Latin-based team is that the women are very expressive when stating opinions on plays, and not shy in challenging the referee or each other. She mentioned that in the U.S. the game is much more reserved. In Nicaragua, only men can serve as referees because women are still not appropriately trained and often get in disagreements.

Team Chatting with RefereeTeam Chatting with Referee

Another key difference in the game is the field conditions. In Nicaragua, you may have to stop the game for a herd of cows or a dog wandering into play. There could be dips or holes in the ground, so a player needs to be careful and not twist an ankle while running after the ball. The teams are responsible for cleaning up after the game and marking the field before the game.

The two teams playing the game are also required to pay the referees for each game. If one team does not have the means to pay others will step up to the plate. Angela mentioned, “anyone who can contribute, does.” Nicaraguans love to play. It is a cultural norm, and it takes some of the stress out of daily work and home life.

In the Dugout Fun with Ice Cream

 Angela recalled some fond memories of being carted off in a big truck full of women, children, coolers, and plastic chairs to an “away game”. She said that one time the truck had to stop prematurely because the road wasn’t wide enough to get through, so the team had to walk about a half a kilometer just to get to the field. Nothing ever deterred them from getting to their game!

Kickball is another activity that is close to Gran Pacifica Resort that residents and guests can enjoy. Just ask at front desk if there is a women’s kickball game coming soon. You will find that everyone in Nicaragua looks forward to a good game of kickball.

Angela Smetana with the teamChampions

If you're planning a visit to Nicaragua, come stay at Gran Pacifica. Book your reservations here, and have some fun watching a game during your stay.


ECI Development delivers affordable luxury residence and resort communities in Central America, providing our clients with various premier lifestyle options from the Caribbean to the Pacific. ECI delivers inspired residences for adventurous souls.

Coupled with over 20 years of inherent corporate social responsibility in the communities where we work, ECI Development is building a sustainable business that is going to be around for the next 100+ years.

Holly Wilson

Written by Holly Wilson

Holly Wilson is from California. She has a Bachelor's in International Relations/Community Development and enjoyed her career in Social Services. She is now working with Gran Pacifica Resort / ECI Development, employing her special skills on the many projects of Corporate Social Responsibility this company engages in. She is enjoying living in Nicaragua and getting to know the great people here.

Topics: Gran Pacifica in Nicaragua, Activities at Gran Pacifica, Living in Latin America, Nicaraguan Culture, Living In Nicaragua