Inspiring and Transforming Youth
The Northern Triangle, made up of the countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, is a region that has many natural resources and a great diversity of cultures. But perhaps its most important resource is…Youth! More than 52% of the population is under the age of 25.
Now more than ever, society has a great need for transformative and honest leaders. Throughout history, there have been great leaders who have supported and inspired entire nations.
Some communities are giving more youth the opportunity to lead, so that they can take on this role and together develop and provide solutions to the situations and challenges their communities are facing. In El Papaturro, a community in the department of Cuscatlán in El Salvador, one youth leader is taking on this role in a very active way, with all of the support of other youth and the rest of the community.
Wilson Sánchez, 22, is now the president of ADESCO, the Association for Community Development in the community of El Papaturro.
The Community of El Papaturro has around 450 residents and 120 families, the majority of which came from the Department of Cabañas, and repopulated this place at the end of the Civil War in 1991.
Today, the community is very affected by migration to the United States. In 2016 alone approximately 30 young people and children left for the U.S.
Wilson has prepared for his current leadership role through various processes of formation, which have helped him acquire the leaderships skills and abilities necessary to work successfully in communities. He’s shining now in the job, leading together with five other youth that form the executive board of the community.
Apart from being President of the Association for Community Development, Wilson is also a member of the ecological group, “Jóvenes en Lucha”, member of the Red PRODEMOR, a network comprised of youth from three different Departments, SERES Ambassador, and member of the Executive Board of Asociación SERES.
Wilson began participating in SERES programs in 2010. At that time he was a quiet teenager without a strong leadership presence in his community.
One quality that he had was persistence in the processes in which he was involved. Bit by bit, he began taking on more responsibilities in the community, while at the same time continuing to develop his skills as an active, dynamic leader.
SERES programs are focused on developing leadership capacity in sustainability. For Wilson, sustainability is maintaining a community with values, in which generations of children and young people will also continue to take on leadership roles in order to guide and solve daily the situations and challenges that present themselves.
The communities of the municipality of Suchitoto contain a large percentage of the youth population, and in recent years the phenomenon of migration to the United States has become increasingly widespread. Because of this, it is even more important that youth empower themselves and begin to take on prominent roles in order to create more opportunities in their communities and, together, develop Hope.
-Antonio Sanchez, Co-founder and ES Program Coordinator