Seminars on youth at risk

During the last 2 weeks of February, I have been involved in two main activities related to the Fulbright Project (1) finishing the interviews with youth who have graduated from the Ak’tenamit program (refer to previous blog), and (2) organizing the two seminars that will bring together national and international academics, practitioners, donors, and students to discuss the situation of youth-at-risk in Guatemala and Latin America.

The seminars are organized with the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, and endorsed by RTI International and CEMCA  The topics, dates and URL for YouTube live transmission of the seminars are below:

Workshop I: “Youth at risk and violence prevention programs in Latin America,” scheduled for Wednesday, March 2nd, 3-6PM CTS

Worshop  II: “Evaluation and feasibility of educational programs as life projects for youth-at-risk in Guatemala,” scheduled for Friday, April 15, 3-6PM CT

The first seminar will conceptualize violence not in the strict sense of security but in the broader sense of human development. Thus, speakers will talk about gender-based institutional violence, as well as poverty as a structural form of violence. The program order and speakers will be the following:

Moderator: Tere Ligorria, Specialist of new business development in Guatemala, RTI International

Opening: Andrés Álvarez Castañeda, Dean, Social Science College, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG)

Panel 1

Aldo Miranda, Director of the Regional Office for Latin American and the Caribbean, RTI International

Wayne Pitts, Criminologist of the Center for Justice, Resilience and Security, RTI International

Emily Kephart, Program Coordinator, Guatemalan Child Return & Reintegration Project (GCRRP), Kids In Need of Defense (KIND)

Comments & questions via Twitter: Dr. Maria del Pilar Grazioso, Professor and Director of PhD program in Applied Psychology, UVG

Panel 2

Carolina Castrillo, Director of the Regional Office for Latin American and the Caribbean, Oxfam America

Irena Palma, Executive Director of the Central American Institute of Social and Development Studies (INCEDES)

Comments & questions via Twitter: Dr. Carmen Monico, Assistant Professor, Elon University

The second seminar will explore not only vulnerabilities but also how programs in Guatemala are strengthening youth resilience and achieving human development goals. Tentative representatives include:

Joel Reyes, World Bank’s specialist in education in global development, with an emphasis on resilience.

Invited are representatives from Asociacion Ak’tenamit, Los Patojos, Guatemaltecos Extraordinarios and Abriendo Oportunidades, which are Guatemalan community-based groups developing mostly vocational programs with youth in disadvantaged communities in rural and urban areas.



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