"Tahuichi" Aguilera Soccer Academy was founded on
May 1, 1978, by Rolando Aguilera Pareja in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
name was in honor of his father Ramón Aguilera Costas,
who was known as "Tahuichi" while playing for the
Florida club in Bolivia.
seed for the Academy was planted when Rolando Aguilera hired
Dede, a coach from Brazil, to teach his sons Roly and Erwin
the fundamentals of soccer.
other children wanted this training, requiring Aguilera to
hire more coaches, secure fields and have secretarial assistance,
growing into a soccer academy.
first two teams formed were "Bloomingcito" and "Orientito"
in honor of the professional teams Blooming and Oriente Petrolero,
both beloved in Santa Cruz.
Bolivian Youth Championship
1979, a Tahuichi team won the Bolivian youth (U-16) championship,
the first of what would be many wins.
South American Champion
1980, a Tahuichi team won the first South American Youth (U-16)
Championship at a tournament held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
This was the first victory for a Bolivian team outside of
its own borders. The nation celebrated.
President Lidia Gueiler officially honored Tahuichi in 1980.
Each successive president has similarly recognized Tahuichi
for its positive impact locally, regionally, nationally and
Winner of Youth World Cup
emerged victorious against Italy to return to the Bolivia
with the Youth World Cup. In a tournament hosted by Argentina´s
River Plate, the Tahuichi team was in a field of world-class
competitors, including Flamengo of Brazil, Real Madrid and
Barcelona of Spain, Stuttgart of Germany, Tel Aviv of Isreal,
Rapid of Austria, America of Mexico, Olimpia of Paraguay,
Universidad of Chile, and the Argentinean teams Independiente,
Boca Juniors, Platense, Rosario Central, and Velez Sarsfield.
was Bolivia´s first World Cup Championship. It is a
source of pride in Bolivia to this day.
World Champion in Spain
1982 Tahuichi became World Champion at a tournament in Spain
and was praised by Dr. Joao Havelange, FIFA President. Afterwards
he sent José Bonetti, a FIFA instructor, to analyze
the phenonmenal success of Tahuichi.
Winner of the Gotha Cup in Sweden
Tahuichi win at an international tournament in Sweden in 1984
attracted the attention of soccer journalists and youth coaches
worldwide. It was the first of many Gotha Cup championships
in Gothenburg, Sweden, for Tahuichi: 1985, 1988, 1990, 1993,
1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2001. (Cony Konstin, the U.S. youth
soccer coach who founded "The Tahuichi Way" for
North American players, first encountered Tahuichi in 1990
when the young Bolivians handily beat his U-16 U.S. team at
the Gotha tournament.)
& 1987: Tahuichi in FIFA World Cups
1985 FIFA invited the Tahuichi Academy to be its guest of
honor at the first world youth (U-16) championship in Beijing,
China. Tahuichi represented the Bolivia Select Team. In 1987,
Tahuichi represented Bolivia in the FIFA Under-17 World Cup
South American FIFA Championship (U-16)
1986 Tahuichi entered a team to represent Bolivia in the South
American Under-16 FIFA Championship in Lima, Peru. Tahuichi´s
Marcos Etcheverry was the top scorer in the tournament and
was named its most valuable player.
Tahuichi Sweeps Tournaments in the Northern Hemisphere
In addition to
winning the Helsinki Cup in Finland in 1988 and 1989 (also
in ´95), Tahuichi teams playing in England took home
with the Hatters Cup in London and Birmingham Cup in 1989.
In 1990, they took home the Holland Cup in Amsterdam and the
Dana Cup in Denmark (again in ´93). They won the Dallas
Cup in the U.S. in 1988, 1989, and 1990 (repeated in ´96
and ´97) .
Cony Konstin Seeks Collaboration With Tahuichi
in 1990 the Tahuichi team rack up a 2-0 win over a Dutch team
fielded by the famous Ajax club, U.S. youth coach Cony Konstin
and Tahuichi founder Rolando Aguilera chatted about Konstin´s
interest in sending players from the U.S. to train in Bolivia
First U.S. Coach at Tahuichi
Cony Konstin, who
has a Mexican mother (and a Greek father) and who is thus
fluent in Spanish, spends 10 days in Bolivia, becoming friends
with Rolando Aguilera and observing the arduous Tahuichi training
January to June: First U.S. Player Trained at Tahuichi
Cony asks 18-year-old
Melchior Arnold to be the "test case" for U.S. players
training at Tahuichi. Melchior, who was playing for a San
Francisco club, had the necessary language and cross-cultural
skills (he has an American father and French mother, but grew
up in Spain), as well as the soccer passion and experience.
Even so, Melchior initially struggled under the tough training
regimen and living conditions in Santa Cruz. But he made it
through the six-month experiment and emerged ready to start
climbing the ranks of professional soccer. (Melchior played
semi-professionally and professionally in Europe for 16 years.)
July & August: First "Tahuichi Way" Session
In the summer of
1992, Cony Konstin brought 25 players from North America--males
ages 13 to 20--for a highly intense Tahuichi experience, trying
to condense six months of training into 37 days. The group
worked out to the maximum every day, all day, under the supervision
of Ciro Medrano, Tahuichi director of coaching. "It was
too much," Cony later realized. "We were killing
the kids." Since that first year, the sessions have been
26 or 27 days, with a still-rigorous regimen supervised by
Ciro, but not a torturous one for players who arrive as fit
as Cony requests.
Tahuichi in the FIFA World Cup in the United States
1993, Bolivia´s national select team included nine Tahuichi-trained
players: Marco Etcheverry, Erwin Sánchez, Luis Cristaldo,
Juan Manuel Peña, Alvaro Peña, Jaime Moreno,
Mauricio Ramos, Eduardo Jiguchi and Juan Carlos Chávez.
They played in the World Cup USA in 1994.
to present: The Tahuichi "Peace and Unity" World
Cup for U-15 Teams
1996, Tahuichi launched an annual international tournament
for Under-15 teams around the theme "Peace and Unity".
Since its inception, the tournament has attracted elite Latin
American teams from Mexico to Argentina, as well as a sampling
of teams from elsewhere, such as Spain, Portugal, Germany,
South Africa, Denmark, Japan and the U.S. The Tahuichi team
emerged victorious in 1997, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004, and 2007.
to present: Victors in South America
the current decade, the Tahuichi Academy has chosen to conserve
its precious financial resources by limiting the number of
expensive team trips to tournaments in Europe and North America.
Instead it has focused on the excellent, high-level competition
available in nearby countries. It is now viewed as one of
the youth powerhouse clubs of South America, having won mutliple
championships in tournaments in Argentina, Brazil, Chile,
Paraquay, and Venezuela.
Bolivians Mourn Death of Roly Aguilera Pareja
Aguilera Pareja, the visionary founder of Tahuichi, a multi-lingual
civil engineer who sought to build up his native country in
a myriad of ways, died on November 30, 2002 after a several-year
battle with Lou Gehrig's Disease. He left behind three adult
children--Roly, Erwin and Tania---determined to carry on his
vision for the Tahuichi Academy. He also left behind thousands
of Bolivian children who were enabled to avoid drugs and the
dangers of the streets, while receiving help in being healthy,
educated and having self-esteem through Tahuichi-sponsored
100th International Championship!
soccer reached a historical milepost on July 20, 2008, when
the Tahuichi Academy brought home its 100th international
championship, beating Brazil´s Vila Vivaldi 1-0 in a
U-13 final match played on Brazil´s home turf in Sao
July: Astonishing Numbers of Players
3,500 Bolivian children--including girls in recent years--streamed
through the gates of the Tahuichi complex in 2008 to receive
training in soccer, as well as in social, educational and
health matters. They came every day, all day, all year, and
almost none of them paid for the services they received from
this non-profit foundation.
Each summer (in the U.S.; June and July are winter months
in Bolivia), the Bolivians share their fields with 50 to 100
young players from North America under the "Tahuichi
Way" program, still headed by Cony Konstin and Ciro Medrano.
The fees charged to the North Americans help support Tahuichi´s
services to impoverished Bolivian children. About 1,700 North
Americans have come through Tahuichi since 1992.