Casa Deportiva Cumbre Alta is dedicated to sharing Christ to those around us as we reach the highest level of Ecuadorian sports.
CDCA was started in the summer of 2010 when a group of young men in 7th to 9th grade came together to practice and entered in a local tournament. Since, we have formed multiple men teams, multiple women teams, and many youth teams for players as young as 5 years old. In time, it is our goal to add teams for every age group for boys and girls where we would be mentoring roughly 850 players weekly on a year-round basis.
Along with soccer, it is our long term plan to expand to several other sporting arenas in the future, like volleyball and basketball, which are popular here in Ecuador as well.
What We are Working on this Year
Soccer Academy (youth teams)
The emphasis for our soccer academy is to not only provide an opportunity for boys and girls to learn and play soccer but also to have a door into their lives, through soccer, in order to share Christ with them and their families – discipleship through soccer.
In general, our Academy is made up of boys and girls that want to improve their soccer skills beginning as young as age 5. Between our two academies, we have almost 60 players on a weekly basis. It may be hard to believe, but we are one of the few soccer clubs that offer opportunities for both boys and girls, but this gives us a greater opportunity to reach and impact more people. It is our goal to grow to over 100 youth players by the end of 2021.
To help foster and maintain team culture, the coaches for our youth academies are players from our Men’s “first team”. They are reproducing what they have experienced with the next generation of soccer players, which allows us to continue to reproduce our club culture from the top down.
Our academies aim to reach kids of all social statuses of the country. It is NOT just for those who can afford to play, but also for those who would otherwise never stand a chance to play because the cost is out of reach. The average soccer academy in Quito is more than $50/ month (the average salary of an adult Ecuadorian is only $300/ month). Again, this not only differentiates our academies, but more importantly, we are giving opportunities for boys and girls that would otherwise never learn the game of soccer, or ever play organized sports, especially for the girls. In order to cover our field costs, coaching costs, and equipment costs, we charge $25/ month for the players that can afford it. We also provide scholarships for those that are unable to afford the monthly costs.
We are always needing more scholarships available for our youth academies. If you are interested in helping provide a scholarship to give a boy/ girl an opportunity to learn and play soccer, as well as an opportunity to hear about Christ and His love for us, you can do that here:
Men’s Soccer Teams
Due to recent growth, we now have multiple men’s’ teams after starting with just one. We continue to have our men’s “first team” (competitive team), but we have now added a men’s “executive team” (non-competitive), and we are hopeful to add a “reserve team” this year that will also enter local tournaments and will be a feeder to our men’s First Team. We currently have over 50 men attending practices each week.
First Team (Men) – Our men’s team is the most established team at the club and is the driving force of our club as a whole. The more on field success they have, the more opportunities we eventually have to share Christ with men, women, and youth. On field success translates to a larger voice in the community and eventually the city of Quito, which has over 3 million people. It is our objective to reach the highest levels of Ecuadorian soccer for this reason. As a team, we have been promoted several times over the last 8 years, and we currently reside in the fourth highest tier of the Ecuadorian soccer system.
While still aiming for the highest levels of Ecuadorian soccer, it is our goal to help our players, and those who are in the club’s sphere of influence, take the next step in their relationship with God, whatever that might be. Many of our guys have never heard the true Gospel, much less are following after it in their life. We share Christ, and His love for us, through team devotionals, prayer, and general team activities, working ultimately towards one on one discipling relationships. We have had great success in these areas over the last 10 years.
Women’s Soccer Teams
Our women’s program has seen tremendous growth in the last few years. A few years ago, there was a struggle to have enough women to regularly field a team (11 players), but as of recently, we now have over 80 women (over the age of 15) attending practice on a weekly basis.
Overall, women’s soccer is extremely underdeveloped in Ecuador, however we see a great potential in the future in our women’s programs. Until about a decade ago, opportunities for women to participate in organized soccer did not even exist. It is extremely difficult for most people to imagine a world in which girls & women don’t have opportunities to participate in organized sports, but it is still the reality for many here in Ecuador. We are one of the very few clubs in Ecuador pursuing and actively trying to grow the game of soccer with women & girls.
First Team (Women): Just like the men, we also have a women’s First Team that is also striving to reach the highest levels of Ecuadorian women’s soccer. The level of play on our women’s side has increased dramatically in the last year. They currently reside in the second highest level of the Ecuadorian soccer system, but they will be entering a tournament this year with an opportunity to advance to the top women’s division, called “Super Liga”.
This would be a huge opportunity to not only bring a lot of attention to our club, but more importantly, bring more people (men, women, and kids) to our programs that will eventually lead to more opportunities to share Christ.
It is our long-term goal to build a foundation for the ministry that supports long-term viability and sustainability for the club, without relying on U.S. donations, as well as create job opportunities for our players and their families.
We are in the beginning phases of several projects that will be our first steps to achieve this long-term sustainable vision. We will be taking a multifaceted approach working with local corporate sponsorships, advertising projects on the fields that we utilize, and other business opportunities that present themselves, particularly among our soccer players (partnerships in their businesses).
Some of these examples include:
- In 2020, we finished construction on a revenue generating advertising project where we rent billboards to local businesses.
- This year we have partnered with two players that own their own business. We have given them start up money for their ideas as well as providing them insight and knowledge of how to run a business. We walk side by side with them as they navigate starting and running their own business.
Current needs for our ministry:
- Our greatest need right now is to have a missionary(ies) come join us in our mission to reach and impact locals through soccer. We need both men & women.
- Our own complex, with multiple soccer fields, to grow and expand our soccer teams across all ages and genders. We are currently looking into several options.
- On-field success (as always)! The more successful our teams are in competition, the more opportunities we will have to reach and impact more lives. It is vital to long-term growth.
Pray about how you can be involved. Here are three ways to do that:
- That we’d have open doors to share Christ clearly with our players and their families
- For a soccer field that we can call home – donate to the field fund
- That this season would be injury free
- We need more coaches who want to invest long-term in the lives of our players learn more about being a Cumbre Alta coach…
- Come down as an intern and see if this is where God would have you learn more about interning…
- We need financial resources to pay for coaches, equipment, tournament fees, etc.
- We are in need of a field that we can use all the time, we hope to purchase a field if the funds become available
Examples of what donations pay for:
- Down payment for a field of our own. Owning our own field is of the utmost importance for the long-term health of the club. If we had a field of our own, we could rapidly increase the amount of teams we have at the club, which means more lives we get to share Christ with.
- $4,500 to rent a field we can practice on for a year. This would provide more practice times for new teams!
- Startup costs associated with new business ventures. Our long-term plan is to create businesses that provide opportunities to players (and their families), creating revenue streams to generate funds for long-term viability and future growth.
- $2,500 to sponsor a Christian coach for a year to disciple students. We’d love to continue to hire local Ecuadorian staff to help us run our teams.
- $5,000 to sponsor a team for a year – coach, equipment, uniforms, tournaments, materials.