thoughts from santa rosa....

We are currently working with a group of guys and girls from a secondary school in san Rafael Las Flores, Santa Rosa, Guatemala.
It has been an amazing experience to listen to the opinions of the group, share their comments and watch the exchange of ideas between them.
Its difficult with the girls sometimes to hear how they don’t value themselves as women. We’re trying to overcome this by sharing with them stories of other women, working on self esteem, goals and what they want for their own future.
Through working with this group, we have noticed an increase of trust within them. Now we can talk about certain themes with much more freedom, without fear of what they will say. In the start, talking about sexuality would always cause them to laugh and joke. Now it’s a really productive conversation, because as the groups are learning, more and more questions are coming up that help them to understand the topics and not take them so lightly.
One of the things that we have noticed in the group of boys is that there’s a lot of machoism, jokes and inappropriate comments. Maybe it’s a cultural thing with young people. It seems to happen more in rural areas, where these themes you don’t talk about with anyone, especially not when a woman is talking about it. We’re trying to get them to understand more about the topics, so they open their minds a little to want to ask more questions and take the issue a little more seriously -- so that they can learn and be responsible with their sexuality.
A lot of members of the group, comment on the topics in later workshops, which is great to know that they are interested in what they are learning.
They’re interested in learning more about their sexuality and we’re finding that every class more themes arise that help them understand their sexuality.
We think this course is so valuable for these guys and girls to become responsible about their sexuality, make them think about the consequences of irresponsible actions they may take. Using examples from the book really helps with this. Hearing real life stories and sharing stories from other young people in their community, about their way of life, after being irresponsible is like looking in a mirror...

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