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Building a Network of Leaders: An Ambassador’s Perspective

Axel Salanic is a local ambassador from Cantel, Guatemala, and is a youth representative on the executive board of Asociación SERES. This is his reflection after participating in the second of three annual national ambassador reunions. Read more of Axel’s thoughts on the importance of building and strengthening an inter-community network of ambassadors achieving changes and sharing their experiences.

Accelerating their processes and strengthening the network of ambassadors are the two elements that motivate and inspire the gathering of youth leaders of Asociación SERES to generate change, so that in this way they can achieve more just and sustainable futures in their communities.

On July 29 and 30, the second of the tri-annual national ambassador meetings was held. The activities took place in the Youth Office of the Municipality of Cantel, with 22 youth leaders in attendance from the Guatemalan municipalities of: Uspantán (Quiché) Comalapa (Chimaltenango) San Cristóbal Cucho (San Marcos) Cantel y Cajolá (Quetzaltenango). 

The ambassadors’ conference is an event that brings together leaders from communities that belong to the ambassador network. The purpose is very important, because the meeting aims to promote a space in which all of the participants can learn about the work that each ambassador is initiating and developing in their own participatory. It also strengthens the capacities of the leaders and gives them an opportunity to address very important topics in personal development; furthermore, they facilitate an exercise in learning in which teamwork, confidence, and communication are promoted.

Realizing this type of activity will always be a special moment for those that have the opportunity to participate, independent of where they come from it has the guarantee of learning, coexistence, and recreation. Additionally, as a network of youth leaders of Guatemala, the ambassadors are working towards acting collectively so that the changes they achieve transcend the local and are applied at a higher, regional level.

Strengthening the Skills of Ambassadors

For this event, it should be mentioned that the ambassadors of Cantel worked hard to realize the meeting and ensure it was possible. In this opportunity the management and organization of the event was carried out thanks to the effort of the youth in the local municipality; previously this situation did not occur, and the organization of meetings was the responsibility of the SERES team. For that reason the work that each person did to make this last meeting happen should be acknowledged, because organizing the event is not an easy task, and it requires time and effort so that the plans can be successful.

The participants had the opportunity to enjoy the activities planned for the meeting, including a session with the organization, Gente Que Avanza, of Uruguay, who organized workshops on “Inner Freedom and Thinking, Feeling, and Deciding for Yourself.” We also were able to learn from the knowledge and experience of Corrina Grace, founder of SERES, who ran a session on “Systemic Thinking.”  

Spending time together in community and coexistence was constant throughout the two days, and without a doubt everyone tried to take advantage of that to the maximum. An interesting part of the program came when a space was developed for dialogue and an interchange of experiences with the relevant groups of youth belonging to the organizations of the participating municipalities. Each group shared the form in which their organization works.  

To listen to the actions that each group has achieved is without a doubt inspiring. Knowing that behind each action and work exists an objective and a challenge that youth have to overcome motivates us to keep moving ahead without stopping our efforts to vanquish the adversities we encounter along the way. The construction of the network of leaders and agents of change is the desire of many young people who are acting in the interest of a better future for all.

Building a network is not an easy task, but neither is it an impossible goal.

-Axel Salanic, ambassador and youth representative on the executive board of Asociación SERES. 

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