Youth network established to improve regional communication
December 20, 2013
Thirty-five youths from Central America took part in a workshop hosted by Interpeace’s Central American Youth Programme. The workshop, which was held in Copan Ruinas, Honduras, invited young people from Interpeace’s network across the region. This included participants from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. Additionally, youth associated with Soleterre, a new partner of Interpeace, came from Costa Rica, Panama, and Belize. During the three day workshop, participants covered issues ranging from violence to youth safety, identity and regional integration.
The goal of the workshop was to develop a network that can communicate the work that is currently being performed in the region. Subsequently the network will assist in the development of policy proposals that aim to improve the conditions and opportunities of youth in the region.
Creating a network for youth collaboration
At the workshop, the participants agreed to create a network that would continue to generate alternatives and proposals to improve the quality of life for Central American youth. This network of youth will allow the free exchange of ideas on subjects directly affecting youth safety within the region. By understanding the experiences of the participants, the network can develop initiatives that will help youth access opportunities available to them. At the same time, the network will work towards promoting the inclusion of youth in regional integration processes. Ultimately, the workshop enabled participants to think of their own sustainable solutions to violence in the region.
Building trust between participants
Interpeace’s partner Colectivo Caja Lúdica facilitated recreational activities that helped build trust between participants of the workshop. After the participants became familiar with each other, breakout sessions were held in which they discussed how young people can shape their own future. This is a part of a process developed by Interpeace in which support is given to youth so they can develop their own proposals that will improve their life situations, and address the issue of youth violence.
Through discussion, participants were able to share the daily realities of their situation, and those with similar problems were able to brainstorm how to solve them. When asked about the workshop, Erick Carcamo, a participant from Honduras, shared: “There were many expectations from the workshop. I think it was important to interact with such closeness to help build confidence between us and understand each other’s points of view. Even though we are so close, it became evident that we can face different situations.”
Interpeace’s Central American Youth Programme has organized a second workshop that is currently underway. The current workshop is being attended by the members of the youth network. They are working to develop a draft for a Regional Strategy for Youth that they will present to the Central American Integration System (SICA) next year.