FLN: Thank you Alexa for sharing your experience this past weekend with such a unique opportunity! Playing for a national team is quite the accomplishment and a wonderful way for a Floridian to continue to help ‘Grow the Game’!
It is not news that I love to play lacrosse, but representing Puerto Rico fills my heart in a very unique way. Playing the sport I love with other women who share a cultural background with me means the world to me. We all have that special bond that is hard to describe with words. My mom was born and raised in Puerto Rico, and although I was born in Florida, she made sure to instill the Puerto Rican customs and traditions into our family.
My maternal grandparents also had a great influence in my development since they provided most of my child care during the first 10 years of my life while my parents worked. I am half Puerto Rican, and I treasure the American culture instilled by the paternal side of my family, but I feel “Boricua”! Everyone knows that there’s something about that Puerto Rican pride! :)
How did my journey start with Puerto Rico Lacrosse?
Four years ago, my family and I saw a guy wearing a Puerto Rico Lacrosse shirt at a restaurant in Orlando. We looked it up online and found out that they had a Men’s U19 team. We started following them on social media, and shortly after, they announced tryouts for the Women’s U19 team. Although I was not eligible due to my age at the time, being 13 years old, my mom forced me to participate in the tryout event knowing I was not going to be able to play.
The coaches were kind enough to allow my participation. I’m glad I was forced to participate because 1 1/2 years later I was invited to play for the Women’s National team at the PALA tournament. This team qualified to participate in the World Games, which will be held this July in Maryland. My experience on and off the field with my “Taínas” will live with me forever.
We certainly want to win games and a championship, but it is more than that.
This is also about embracing our roots and culture and playing with our hearts, giving the best of us to represent Puerto Rico with pride and dignity.