WASHINGTON, D.C. /eNewsChannels/ — The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announced today that Major League Baseball All-Star and 2012 Hall-of-Fame inductee Barry Larkin will visit Guayaquil, Ecuador, February 17-20 as a Sports Envoy. Joe Logan, a former player with the Montreal Expos and coach of the Orlando Reds, will accompany Larkin. This visit marks their fourth joint Sports Envoy program, following past visits to the Colombia, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan.

Sports diplomacy builds on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s vision of “Smart Power.” It embraces the use of a full range of diplomatic tools—in this case, baseball—to bring people together and foster greater understanding.

While in Guayaquil, Larkin and Logan will conduct clinics for 100 underserved youth and their coaches at Yeyo Uraga, a local baseball facility. The sports diplomats will also engage students in conversations on the importance of education, teamwork, and leadership at the Centro Ecuatoriano Americano and Colegio Americano.

Following Larkin’s trip to Ecuador, the Department of State will welcome a group of Ecuadorian youth for a Sports Visitor program this August. From August 16-26, a delegation of young baseball players, ages 9-12, will come to the United States for 10 days of baseball clinics and activities. They will also have an opportunity to attend the Little League World Series in Pennsylvania.