Elmer Gustavo Hernández was key for Garita Palmera to beat San Sebastián in the quarterfinals and reach the semifinals of the 2022 CEL Cup Beach Soccer League, an instance in which they will face Chirilagua, from San Miguel.
Last Sunday, in the second leg of the quarterfinals, Hernández saved two shots in the marathon series of 18 penalties that Garita won 5-4 against San Sebastián and that gave them the classification for the first time to the semifinals of the League. Beach Soccer.
But off the pitch, the 22-year-old goalkeeper, who lives in the “El Chino” farmhouse, sells French bread in the mornings and then goes back to his farming activities.
Elmer’s day begins at 5:00 in the morning with the inspection of his motorcycle and the accommodation of the $30 worth of French bread that he goes out to sell every day in the “El Chino” farmhouse and surrounding areas.
“My uncle gives me bread, I have a motorcycle, I have added some crates to it and I go out to sell it every day, I have been doing this for 10 years and I already have a good clientele,” said the player.
After the sale, Elmer returns home, has breakfast and prepares his tools to join the agricultural activities with his father, Elmer Edgardo Hernández, which last from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
«My parents taught me to work in agriculture and I dedicate myself to planting corn, squash and maicillo. We planted an apple and I feel good working the land because one of them comes out from there to eat and sometimes from the apple we plant we get about 25 sacks of corn”, said the goalkeeper.
After the arduous day, he is greeted with a hug and a smile from his life partner, Evelyn Medina, and his son Gustavo Marcelo, just eight months old, who together with his parents are his source of inspiration to get ahead.
«I feel proud and grateful to God, for having given me a special person like him. I feel happy that he is fulfilling what he has liked so much (playing beach soccer) and I support him because that makes him happy,” said Evelyn, 19 years old.
Hernández explained that in order to bring money home, he also spends his time cutting sugar cane, fishing and taking care of cattle. Another source of income that Elmer and Evelyn have started is selling hot dogs in the nearby village, but this activity is not an everyday activity.
On Saturdays and Sundays, Elmer prepares the gloves, the goalkeeper uniform and goes to the different fields to play with the Garita Palmera team, which is a semifinalist in the 2022 CEL Cup Beach Soccer League. During the week he also does two practices with the team.
Elmer is playing his first Beach Soccer League and wants to be a finalist, but he warns that the task is difficult. “The rival that we have played is not easy, he has good football and has a lot of control of the ball,” he said.
Elmer’s sports career began as a child in soccer 11, in the teams of the Caserío “El Chino”, he remembers that he played in the sub-17 of Ahuachapán. His transition to beach soccer was through an invitation from his friend Marcos Manzano.
«Since I was little I liked soccer, first it was soccer 11 and I thought that because I don’t live in a coastal area I would never play on the beach, but I never imagined this. Now I know that being a goalkeeper is a great responsibility and as a goalkeeper we have to be psychologically well and the goalkeeper has 70% of the game », he emphasized.
In sports, one of his dreams is to play outside the country as Frank Velásquez and Heber Ramos have done, among others, in addition to playing with the national beach soccer team.
Elmer Hernández has many other sporting and personal desires, but at the moment one of the ones he would like to fulfill and for which he works is to install the electricity service in his house.
The goalkeeper has already made the respective contributions to be able to count on the electricity service, but his budget is not enough.
“I don’t have electricity and one of my goals is to put electricity in the house and an installation costs about $700,” explained the soccer player.
The vast vegetation, the trill of different birds and the cobbled street give the Caserío “El Chino” an apparent calm that, according to Elmer, sometimes changes abruptly due to the heavy rains that usually flood the place.
Elmer recalled that the last flood that forced the inhabitants of the Caserío to evacuate the place was in 2012 when the La Paz and Cara Sucia riverbed overflowed and the water almost reached the level of the roofs of the houses.
“It’s hard sometimes because you don’t know when the water is going to come in, once the flood was at 2:00 in the morning and it’s time to take out the most important thing,” he recalled.
Later there were other minor floods and this year they already suffered a smaller one, which is why he and the neighbors are always aware of each storm.
Apart from all his atmosphere for Elmer Hernández, this will be an important week in his career since he will play his first semifinal in the Beach Soccer League and could fulfill another goal: to be a finalist.
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