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More Making a Difference Activities

Youth for Peace

Youth in Your Community

Students in Class in Todos Santos caption What problems do youth in your community face? Are these problems being addressed? Having a place to go and having productive, fun things to do is very important for youth. Are there enough opportunities for youth in your community. You can do two things right now to help the youth in your community:

  1. Find out what activities are available in your community and make sure youth are aware of them! You can create a brochure and make them available in your school. Or you can go to another school with your teacher and share your brochures with kids at another school (and maybe make some friends at the same time!)

  2. If you don't think your community offers enough activities, you can write your own proposal like Bladimiro did in Guatemala and list what you think should be done or what should be offered. Tell your teachers, tell your principal, tell your mayor, tell everybody what youth in your community need and deserve!

Can you imagine life without after-school sports or art or a place to hang out with friends? What would you do with your time? Now add to that the enormous amount of violence that teenagers in the indigenous villages of Guatemala witnessed when they were young and consider that many of them lost their fathers to the civil war... It is no wonder that there is so much disillusionment and alcoholism.

Bladimiro Palacios, a concerned teacher in the Todos Santos area, has created a vision for a program called "Youth for Peace." Bladimiro's vision includes an after-school youth center in Huehue and additional smaller centers in each of the pueblos (to give students guidance before they leave for Huehue). These centers would have music, games, and inter-pueblo sports leagues for sports such as basketball and soccer. They would be drug-free places where young people could go for advice, field trips, activities, or just to hang out.

Unfortunately, Bladimiro's vision is still just that - a vision. Very little money allotted for education in Guatemala actually reaches the village level. Teachers in Todos Santos only earn one hundred quetzals a month (that's about $14 a month!). There is no extra money to create Youth for Peace. That is why Bladimiro is making a plea on an international level, to try to get funding from individuals and organizations that also believe in his vision. The funding needed to get Youth for Peace started is very minimal by U.S. standards.

Click here if you wish to see a full proposal.

If you or your class is interested in helping out your counterparts in Todos Santos, get in touch with Bladimiro directly via e-mail (Shawn and I showed him how!) at the following address: mitierra@quetzal.net Subject: Bladimiro Palacios

If you write to him, he can send you more information on his proposal for Youth for Peace, and you can also make a direct connection with this truly devoted and visionary soul. If there's one thing being on the Odyssey has taught me, it's that a worthwhile vision can come true if enough people learn about it. As one of our volunteers once said, "If one person dreams it is just a dream, but if many people dream together, that dream can become a reality." Can you help Youth for Peace become a reality?

Kavitha

Note: You can also "snail mail" him (regular mail!) at:
Bladimiro Palacios R.
Malacatancito
Huehuetenango
Guatemala, C.A.  
 
 
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