|By bsebring (188.8.131.52) on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 - 1:15 pm: Edit Post|
It was on a warm summer night in Chicago when former Peace Corps volunteer Joe Jaycox first met his baseball idol from the early fifties, Alfonso "Chico" Carrasquel, who played shortstop for the White Sox and was the first Venezuelan to be selected to an all star game in 1951.
Chico and Joe had many visits together and talked a lot about baseball and Chico's beloved Country of Venezuela. Joe shared Chico's love of Venezuela from his two years experience working in the barrios of Caracas and Maracaibo while a Peace Corps Volunteer from 1962 to 1964.
Chico had always wanted to give back to his Country and always dreamed of helping kids from the barrios of Venezuela to find better lives and in 2004 Chico and Joe established the Chico Carrasquel Foundation.
Chico passed away in 2005 but with help from friends and former Venezuelan RPCV's, Joe was determined to keep Chico's dream alive of finding better lives for Venezuela's barrio children.
Joe formed an alliance with the YMCA's of Venezuela and together they brought barrio kids to Chicago, distributed thousands of toys and stuffed animals to the Children's Hospitals in Caracas, took 40 kids from the poorest barrio in Caracas (Catia)to the great baseball museum in Valencia, Venezuela and are now planning once a month bus trips for barrio kids throughout Venezuela to historical & cultural places in Venezuela.
In April, 2009 The Chico Carrasquel Foundation became an official member of the Chicago White Sox Charities and along with a generous financial grant from the White Sox will continue it's projects in Venezuela to help find ways for better lives for the children of the barrios of Venezuela.
Robert Sebring PHd
The Chico Carrasquel Foundation
RPCV Venezuela 1964-1966