West Hartford teens build bridges with Cuban peers on Goodwill Baseball Tour

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HOLGUIN, Cuba–A group of 72 kids and adults from the West Hartford area returned to the United States after a week of baseball in Cuba.

It was all about baseball for 18 West Hartford baseball players who went on a first-of-its-kind USA-Cuba Goodwill Baseball Tour. The group was part of efforts to mend America’s relationship with Cuba as travel is allowed for the first time in more than half a century.

FOX 61’s own Jimmy Altman and Assistant News Director Mike Piskorski were on hand for all the action.

About 1,200 turned out to watch the Cuban and American children meet on the diamond for the first time, and fun was had by all. While the West Hartford kids lost 7-14 in their first game, connections were already being made, which was all part of the plan for the pilot program Teen Cultures Connect.

“Baseball is kind of secondary,” player Jack Brennan said. “It’s more about building relationships and sharing what we have.”

“I think it’s important because our relationship used to be pretty bad,” player Andrew Skwiot said. “Maybe it will help bond the two countries.”

The teens brought hundreds of pounds of baseball equipment, instruments and school supplies to hand out in Cuba, and the experience was magical.

Check out some photos from the first day of the trip, and stay tuned for more on the groundbreaking adventure.