On past June 14th, 2015, I had the immense honor of represent the youth before the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS). I need to thank America Solidaria and Atlas Corps for making possible this fellowship in the U.S., opening new opportunities and spaces for me.
Carrying the voices The OAS is one of the oldest multilateral organizations in the world, and gathers all the sovereign nations of the American Continent.
Organizations of the civil society were granted with the amazing opportunity of expressing their concerns, motivations, dreams and demands before the delegates of the American states. And youth was also there.
I was sitting with representatives of the employers and corporations, labor unions, and organizations representing human rights, freedom of press and democracy. Was in that forum where I tried to bring the voices of millions of youth that are marginalized from political, social and economic spheres.
There is a vastly extended idea that youth don’t care about politics or the destiny of our countries. But that idea cannot be more distant from reality. More than 90% of the youth that participated in the virtual consultation process prior to the General Assembly claimed for more spaces for political participation.
Why young people don’t get involved as much as they wish in the Americas? Because they are poor! Indexes of unemployment, illiteracy, violence and discrimination among young people are extremely high compared to the rest of the population. When you need to figure out where are you going to sleep at night and how you will bring the daily bread to your family table is hard to be engaged with the political processes of your country. And we are getting tired of the sloth of the political class. We demand a space, and we will conquer that space. Not through violence, not through senseless inaction, but through the creative, candid, responsible and solidary actions that thousands of youth are making every single day in our continent.
The Americas is the most unequal continent in the world. With more than 164 million of people living under the line of poverty is time for us to bring the change. Or better so, to be the change we want to see (in words of Gandhi).
People always say that youth is the future. Well, we are the present and we will make our voices heard.