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The Amazing Indigenous Softball Team: Breaking Barriers

- June 13, 2024

In “The Amazons of Yaxunah,” a documentary film, the remarkable story of an indigenous softball team from Mexico’s Yucatán state is told. The team, known for playing barefoot and wearing traditional hipiles, defied social conventions to pursue their passion.

Enedina Canul, 47, was determined to play baseball despite her husband’s opposition and the community’s conservative views. She carved her own bat from a tree branch and took a ball from her husband, and decided to run barefoot due to the lack of suitable footwear.

Inspired by Enedina’s determination, other women from Yaxunah formed a team, which they called “The Amazons.” Their struggles and triumphs are showcased in the documentary, narrated by Mexican actress Yalitza Aparicio.

The film premiered at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival and will be available on ESPN in English and Spanish later this year. The story highlights the transformation of these women from a conservative community where they were once restricted from venturing out alone or expressing their opinions.

Enedina’s passion for softball was renewed after a government program suggested Zumba classes to combat obesity. However, when she chose softball instead, it caused controversy and even led to some team members losing their marriages.

The documentary follows the women as they face challenges and overcome them. Sitlali Poot, captain of the team, notes that playing softball has helped break down machismo attitudes in the community, allowing women to have more opportunities for socialization and fun.

With recognition came opportunities to compete in other cities, including a friendly match against a US school team. The Amazons’ motto is “Let’s play awesome!” as they strive to showcase their skills and inspire others.

This remarkable story of resilience and determination highlights the power of sports to bring about positive change in communities around the world.

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