Mayaguez to Host the 21st Central American and Caribbean Games
The 21st Central American and Caribbean Games are scheduled to take place in the year 2010 and will be hosted by the lovely city of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. Situated on the western coast of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez is known as “Porta del Sol”, meaning the “Sun’s Gate”, and is a popular tourist destination with plenty to offer visitors in the way of things to see and do. Certainly, Mayaguez is an excellent choice as a venue for these prestigious games.
The organizers of the games have set themselves a number of goals, including to plan, promote and implement the games in a way that will enhance the image of Puerto Rico, as well as promoting the rich cultural heritage and history of the country, while showing sincere hospitality to visiting competitors and spectators. They anticipate that the hosting of the games will have a unifying effect on Puerto Ricans, many of whom will be serving as volunteers for various duties during the games.The inaugural Central American and Caribbean Games were held in Mexico City, Mexico in 1926, and had only three participating countries at that time, being Mexico, Cuba and Guatemala. The program included athletics, baseball, basketball, diving, shooting, fencing, tennis, swimming and volleyball, with 269 athletes competing. Although this was a small beginning, it was a success, and the 2nd edition of the games held in 1936 in La Habana, Cuba, featured 606 athletes from nine countries, one of which was Puerto Rico.
Since those early days, the games have gone from strength to strength and the participating countries for the 21st edition of the Central American and Caribbean Games are Antigua, Netherlands Antilles, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, El Salvador, Granada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Caiman Island, U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, St Lucia, San Kitts y Nevis, Surinam, Surinam, Trinidad, Tobago and Venezuela. The events planned for 2010 include athletics, baseball, basketball, swimming, diving, fencing, volleyball, tennis, table tennis, aquatics, badminton, handball, bowling, boxing, canoeing, cycling, soccer, gymnastics, judo, karate, taekwondo, hockey, weight lifting, racquetball, rowing, softball, archery, sailing and shooting.
In 1993, the games were also hosted by Puerto Rico, but in the city of Ponce, and were a great success. Organizers are confident that they will uphold the high standards of the Central American and Caribbean Games and look forward to welcoming participating teams to Mayaguez in 2010.