I didn’t use to value myself very much. I felt alone and I had no job. Then I went to the meetings and I received help to set up my business. Our community didn't have it's own corn mill and people had to walk long distances to mill their corn. I thought of my community and bought a mill. Now I’m working, my family and I are doing well.
Edgard Argueta, 16 years old
Migration of youth is becoming a big problem in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Poverty, lack of work and opportunities, combined with discriminating power structures that exclude youth, drive many young people to the conclusion that they are better off somewhere else. As a consequence, many communities are expulsing youth at an alarming rate. The project aims at reverting this tendency.
“I was able to control my fear”
“Last year we went to see the Mayor, I remember it was a Thursday. We went in there and immediately he said ‘what are you doing here, you have no business to do here, leave, I can’t help you’.
"Well, we were scared. I was scared, and I didn’t know what to do. But when we were leaving I said to myself: ‘I have been trained, we’ve talked about gender equality, and about rights and obligations’. I turned around and my friends said ‘José [nickname], leave it at that’, but I answered ‘no, I’m going to tell that man my piece of mind’. I went in there and I said to him: ‘Sorry, but as a woman, as a young girl, I have my rights and obligations. You as a Mayor have your rights and obligations’. Then he just sat there, all quiet.
"It was an unforgettable experience for me because I was able to control my fear. And that I learned here in the youth group, thanks to the trainings we’ve received.”
María Josefina López, 21 years old, Community of San Ildefonso, Guatemala.
(watch her testimony at www.actionaid.dk/sw202048.asp)