What is SERES to me, an “evolving” 71 year old US citizen/Guatemala resident, grandmother of 16 and life-long learner/educator, passionate about leadership and about youth finding their voices?
I am a member of both the US SERES and the Guatemalan Asociacion SERES boards. I have been a SERES Champion for four years and seen the movement grow, powered by 250 to over 2,000 inspired and empowered young local change makers, developing and facilitating action plans in their communities throughout Guatemala and El Salvador.
I recently participated in a local ambassadors’ training facilitated by 3 of our staff members in Zunil, Guatemala.
I was blown away by the depth and breadth, the purpose and passion, the skills and abilities of our facilitators and the participants. I realized I was sitting in a room where the SERES professed mission to change the development paradigm and truly inspire change from the bottom, up was live! This is change framed by the grass roots, the people, the community and then inviting the universities, the institutions, governmental and non-governmental, the congresses, the policy makers, the donors to be a part of it rather than the reverse – “have we got a stove for you, pobrecitos”!
I listened how Abigail, one of the SERES youth leaders, a beautiful Guatemalan Indigenous woman, facilitated a session on paradigm shifts. I also watched the involvement of our local ambassadors engage in the discussion in ways that took my breath away, most of them with básico/middle school at best “formal” educations, understanding the essence and significance of these shifts and how they play out in their lives here in ways I doubt many university students could textualize as richly.
During the day and half Zunil training, where I was privileged to lead a short session on Appreciative Inquiry and how it can be used as a positive change tool, I was motivated to take a few minutes as an insider/outsider and share what SERES is for me.
SERES is like a Sun
I took a piece of newsprint, drew a large circle, our sun, with many rays coming forth. I explained that I see SERES as the sun and each of us as one of the rays reaching out to warm our planet with no carbon additives and give life to positive change, to sustainability, to healthy communities. What sources this sun? I see three energy circles, Asociacion SERES, SERES Global and our evolving SERES Center/Communiversity the formal structures, the “banks” at the core, all sourced by people who care deeply about leadership, about positive change, about healthy communities, about our planet, about one another.
SERES to me is the most exciting, creative and positive way I can show up for my grandchildren, for all children today. I am delighted to be a part of it and invite you to join us wherever and however you choose to. We are the difference!
“A new day: Be open enough to see opportunities. Be wise enough to be grateful. Be courageous enough to be happy.” ― Steve Maraboli via my lovely neighborhood friend, Jan, who so is!