Mayans Weave Their Identity Into Their Soccer Team – New York Times

“The costume is a symbol, and we, the team, carry it with great responsibility,” he said. “It stands for all the indigenous peoples of the country, and for Guatemala as a whole.”

The women in Xejuyup weave the shirts for the men in their families, a task that usually takes two months. The skirt is made of wool and bought in the region. A full uniform is worth about 2,000 quetzales (about $270), far more than the replica jerseys of the “new heroes” — players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo — that are cheap and ubiquitous.

But to the men of C.S.D. Xejuyup, it is also why the mission undertaken by Antonio Perechú is so ambitious, and so important.

And in small ways, it might be succeeding. Beyond being an example for youngsters in their small town, the team’s influence and message is evident each time it leaves Xejuyup. The club is not registered in any official league, but it frequently plays against amateur teams around the country. Most times, Miguel Perechú said, the players are supported, applauded and encouraged by their rivals’ fans.

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