Thursday, July 27, 2017

They Are the Youth

They dance.
They have friends.
They stay up late doing homework.
They text.
They work when they can.
They go to high school nearby.
They do spoken word.
They live with their parents.
They ride the bus for 3 hours to study at a university.
They are active in their churches.
They are artists.
They care for babies.
They have babies.
They stay up late doing homework.
They play the drums.
They play cell phone games.
They play soccer games.
They have friends.
They have friends who have died.
They have friends who have been killed.
They love their community.
They come home before dark.
They are afraid of their community.
There are rules in their community.
They are organized.
They are organizing in the community.
They have gifts.
They have talents.
They have goals.
They have dreams.
They love their community.
They want to live in their community.
They want to live.

The rainy season had not quite taken hold, but the afternoon skies were gray and threatening.  The young people were not deterred.  They had organized a street fair - a showcase of the abilities and talents and determination of the community's youth.  Cultural performance groups from choreographed athletic dance, to Batacuda (drumming), to hip hop, to spoken word, to ballad singing, to spray-paint art, to Andean folk music, to a rock band each performed for a very large crowd of parents, children, friends and community members.  The event was a first fruit of a newly self-organized youth organization.  This mighty little group of youth leaders made a statement, and they made it loud:  They have the right to dream and the right to go after the lives they want for themselves.  Their identity is not determined by where they live nor by the forces of violence which surround them.   They don't want to hide.  They want to live out loud.

They are the present.
They are the hope.
They are the community.
They are the energy.
They are the love.
They are the future.
They are the youth.



Little ones practicing their moves during a dance performance

Activities for the younger children

Batacuda

Opportunities for local vendors - I really admire this
entrepreneur's creativity

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