On Queens Soccer Fields, Immigrants Find Each Other and a Sense of Home

Ender Mora arrived at the soccer field in Flushing Meadows Corona Park one Sunday afternoon with a couple of new Venezuelan friends who had gotten off a bus at Port Authority four hours earlier, after a journey from the Texas border.

The two 20-year-olds had no socks, wore only thin jackets and looked confused and exhausted. While waiting for his turn on the field, Mr. Mora, wearing his soccer uniform, busied himself bringing them bottles of water, sandwiches and warmer coats.

“I know they just arrived, but I thought it was important for them to see this,” Mr. Mora said, “so that they could get to know all our people here.”

No matter the weather or season, players gather in Corona for soccer games.

For decades, the field in Corona, Queens, in the shadow of the borough landmark the Unisphere, has been home to numerous soccer leagues of mostly Latin American immigrants. The teams are loosely organized around national identity. The latest team to join their ranks, called La Vinotinto, is all Venezuelans.

José Estuardo is originally from Guatemala. Many players arrive on the scooters they use for delivery work.
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