Immigrants in New York ready to catch the fever of the Qatar 2022 World Cup

In Jackson HeightsHispanic enclave par excellence in the Big Apple, soccer fans prepare for the World Cup Qatar 2022 which starts this Sunday in Doha. And it is that another environment could not be expected since, of the six Latin American countries that intervene, Mexico and Ecuador They have a strong presence in Queens.

New York has the most diverse population in the world and that reality can be felt in Queens, where Mexicans and Ecuadorians rank third and fourth, respectively, among the largest immigrant communities residing in the Big Apple.

multicolored festive atmosphere

Through Roosevelt Avenue the party is already alive. Most of the shops, restaurants, travel agencies and supermarkets have decorated their facilities with the colors of the national teams that are involved and where they stand out, Brazil and Argentina, which are the super favorites to lift the Champions League, as well as Uruguay and Costa Rich, by region.

The additional ingredient that has raised spirits in the midst of the low temperatures in New York these days is the fact that Ecuador will face the host Qatar in the opening match. The country from the middle of the world completes group A along with the Netherlands and Senegal.

“Sunday will be a special day. The family has agreed to be together and watch the opening of the World Cup and, of course, we hope that Ecuador will triumph,” he said. Ramiro Moncayo
Like this Ecuadorian, many of his compatriots are optimistic that this, the fourth participation of their team in a World Cup, will be different.

And they are proud, they look for caps, t-shirts, scarves, the Qatar mascot and any other item with which they can identify and live more intensely, what some dare to call: “the fever of the season”.

“The world will be waiting for the opening match, it is a very big distinction and at the same time a strong commitment,” he said. Alejandro Medinawhile buying a “Tri” shirt at the “Todo en Deportes” store in Corona.

The owner is Ecuadorian Claudia Villegas. She says that since the summer the demand for the shirts and complete uniforms of the teams that play in Qatar began. The most requested are those of Ecuador, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil.

“In recent weeks, out of every ten shirts sold, five are from Ecuador, three from Mexico and two from Argentina. The other one that is in great demand is that of Brazil, but none like that of Ecuador at the moment,” said Villegas, who is originally from Cuenca.

At the height of 84th street and Roosevelt avenue is the soccer uniform store “Ecua Mex”. It is a place that has been in that place for years but it seems that it has been opened for the occasion and its name could not be the best. Here, from its exterior shelf as well as on its interior counters, the yellow and green shirts of Ecuador and Mexico are omnipresent.

The prices of the garment oscillate between 20 and 45 dollars, it depends on the quality and the quantity, because there are buyers like Jacinto Mejía who bought t-shirts for the whole family and said that he got a good discount.

“It is a joy that is experienced every four years. This time we feel that we can aspire to a little more. Ecuador has a young team and almost all of them play abroad,” said Mejía, from Guayaquil.

The Big Apple is already beginning to vibrate with the World Cup in Qatar. /David Ramirez

Mexicans proud of their soccer lineage

Mexicans in the area are proud of their soccer tradition. As a country, it has hosted twice, in 1970 and 1986. Mexico has been present in sixteen editions of the Soccer World Cup, being the fifth national representative with the most contests held behind Brazil (21), Germany (19), Italy (18) and Argentina (17). The “Tri” as the Aztec team is also known is part of Group C, along with Argentina, Saudi Arabia and Poland.

“Well, we are going to play with enthusiasm as always, Mexico has good players and we will put on a good show,” he said. Linda EcheverriaA native of Puebla, who calls herself a “luchadora,” she makes her living as an informal vendor in Queens.

Her countryman Jesús Galíndez agrees with her about the Mexican team.
“As good Mexicans, we will push forward. Although it is a difficult group, Mexico has caste and we are going to show it in Qatar,” said Galíndez, who works as a cook in the area.
Mexico will debut on Tuesday at 11:00 am against Poland at stadium 974.

The sales of uniforms of the selections can also be bought on the street. Many informal vendors are taking advantage of the World Cup fever.

“I am Colombian, soccer knows no borders, so besides that I am earning a few pesos, this time I am going to Ecuador and I will be strong for Mexico as well,” said Marco Morales, who, with a laundry cart and a chair, settles these days under the stairs to access the 7 train on 82nd street.

Football must strengthen integration

“Football is more than a popular sport or a multi-million dollar business. Above all, it is a social catalyst and it should be a means of strengthening Latin American integration, a fundamental requirement to achieve the empowerment and progress of our communities”, with this frontality responded the activist of the Hispanic community, Ximena Hidalgo, in response to the query about the meaning of the World Cup event.

In Hidalgo’s opinion, all Latin American countries are important: “they are organs of the same body and as such, they deserve our support equally”, this in connection with the fact that several teams from our continent will participate in the World Cup in Qatar.

According to Hidalgo, who has a degree in History, the presence of Ecuador, Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay and Costa Rica must be assumed as a representation of the Latin American brotherhood or integration.

The Ecuadorian insisted that the Qatar 2022 World Cup should be a party of brotherhood and an opportunity to get to know each other better, share and strengthen ourselves as communities.

“It is a privilege that a Latin American nation inaugurates a competition of the highest level on the planet, from its center, extending its arms to unite south and north, Ecuador continues its millennial work and in addition to being a great source of pride, it is a historical fact” , added Hidalgo who also works as a journalist.

Time and menu settings

Another sector that expects to obtain additional income during the development of the World Cup in Qatar is that of bars and restaurants. The drawback that worries them is that the matches, at least in the first phase, will be played early in the morning, but everything has a solution…

Some stores located between the corridors of Roosevelt and 37th avenues are making adjustments in the hours of service work as well as that of their employees; other more creative ones are changing the menu to make them light in the line of the sports environment and as for the drinks, many say that they will have cocktails and surprises for their clients.

The “Colombian roots” It has strategically accommodated more televisions and at the entrance it has hung little flags from all nations, and a large banner with the Qatar 2022 logo and the word welcome.

Likewise, the restaurant “The Great Uruguayan”, has many reasons to present the best of its menu to its wide clientele. The Uruguayan team will be one of the great cheerleaders in this World Cup and also in their record is having been the first World Cup soccer champion, a title they obtained in 1930.

in the Ecuadorian “Ambateñas Delights”, there is also great fervor for what is to come. A large tricolor flag and multicolored decorations give the place a festive atmosphere.

“This is a family restaurant that we come to frequently and this Sunday with even more reason to see our team,” said Lucio Samaniego from Cuenca.

In the Elmhurst area, at the foot of Queens Boulevard is the Argentinian “Boca Juniors”, which before being a restaurant looks like a museum dedicated to football. The place has taken all the forecasts and awaits the fans of Argentina in particular. Likewise, in Jackson Heights there are Spanish businesses, which, although their team will be in this World Cup, prefer to be inclusive, something like spaces of the “United Nations ” which is basically the spirit of football, which is seen as the only sport that unites crowds.

This feeling has been joined by Italian, Peruvian, Greek restaurants and shops, countries with a great football tradition that will not be at the Qatar event, but do not want to miss the celebration and the opportunity to celebrate and do business, especially the latter. , after the area tries to reactivate the economy after almost three years of pandemic.

From Broadway to 76th Street there is a strong settlement of businesses from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India that have also tuned in to the soccer fervor and have done the same to profit.

Ecuadorian Consul urges support for the “Tri”

The Ambassador José Sandoval, Consul General of Ecuador in New York, he stressed that the vocation of Ecuadorians is to be united and work for common goals. The official issued the following statement a few hours after that country’s team will play the opening match against host Qatar.

“Our national team, our beloved tricolor calls us to support it. All united as one people, as one Ecuadorian fist in New York, we will meet in the different communities to, from a distance, give our encouragement of support so that our players can give their best.

We are proud to have the youngest team in Latin America. We have players who stand out worldwide and I’m sure they will play a very prominent role in this World Cup. The Consulate General of Ecuador in New York will also join these activities to support the gladiators who proudly wearing the tricolor, with chants, music and our best energies, will defend the colors of our country with bravery and quality. Let’s go ecuador!”

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