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TAHUICHI HISTORY

The "Tahuichi" Aguilera Soccer Academy was founded on May 1, 1978, by Rolando Aguilera Pareja in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

The name was in honor of his father Ramón Aguilera Costas, who was known as "Tahuichi" while playing for the Florida club in Bolivia.

1978: The Kick-Off

The 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.

Eventually other children wanted this training, requiring Aguilera to hire more coaches, secure fields and have secretarial assistance, growing into a soccer academy.

The first two teams formed were "Bloomingcito" and "Orientito" in honor of the professional teams Blooming and Oriente Petrolero, both beloved in Santa Cruz.

Highlights

1979: Bolivian Youth Championship

In 1979, a Tahuichi team won the Bolivian youth (U-16) championship, the first of what would be many wins.

1980: South American Champion

In 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.

Bolivian President Lidia Gueiler officially honored Tahuichi in 1980. Each successive president has similarly recognized Tahuichi for its positive impact locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

1981: Winner of Youth World Cup

Tahuichi 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.

This was Bolivia´s first World Cup Championship. It is a source of pride in Bolivia to this day.

1982: World Champion in Spain

In 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.

1984: Winner of the Gotha Cup in Sweden

This 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.)

1985 & 1987: Tahuichi in FIFA World Cups

In 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 in Canada.

1986: South American FIFA Championship (U-16)

In 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.

1988-´90: 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) .

1990: Cony Konstin Seeks Collaboration With Tahuichi

While watching 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 .

1991: 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 methods.

1992, 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.)

1992, 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.

1994: Tahuichi in the FIFA World Cup in the United States

In 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.

1996 to present: The Tahuichi "Peace and Unity" World Cup for U-15 Teams

In 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.

2000 to present: Victors in South America

In 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.

2002: Bolivians Mourn Death of Roly Aguilera Pareja

Roly 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 soccer.

2008: 100th International Championship!

Bolivian 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 Paulo.

2008, July: Astonishing Numbers of Players

About 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.

 

 

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