Throughout the Midwest, meatpacking plants are helping to diversify small towns like Fort Morgan, Colorado. The town, which is home to nearly 11,000 people, hosts a Cargill meatpacking plant and has attracted residents of Latino, European and African descent, reports Poncie Rutsch for Harvest Public Media.
Though diverse, the town's residents have found that they have one thing they can bond over-- soccer. Nick Ng, coach of the Fort Morgan High School soccer team works hard to help break barriers between the teammates, while also encouraging them to embrace their own identities.
Before practice, Coach Ng goes through roll call and has each player shout out his or her hometown or home country. The responses include Guatemala, El Salvador, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ukraine and more.
Though many of the players face discrimination from other teams, within the group there are few misunderstandings. For many of the players, soccer is their main activity. “Soccer’s life, it’s the only thing I do,” player James Lara told Rutsch.
“The more they get comfortable with each other the more casual we are around each other. That’s what we need to build up a team,” Coach Ng told Rutsch.