Helping Local Youth Build Themselves a Better FutureIn December 2018, Mexico’s federal government created a program, Jóvenes Construyendo el Futuro, to respond to an increasingly high number of unemployed youth in nearly every region of the country. The government program, headed by Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), seeks to create pathways to remove vulnerable youth from antisocial behaviors, and prepare individuals to enter the labor force through skills training and mentorship. Participants, or jóvenes, are awarded AMLO training grants of $3,600 Mexican Pesos per month (approximately $190 USD) in additional to medical insurance with the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS). At Playa Viva, participants in the program work alongside our team and under the supervision of our maintenance, kitchen, permaculture, and community specialists.
“I chose to participate in this program because I need to work to support my family. It is hard to find work close to home. I have my own land, which I farm, and working with the Permaculture Team at Playa Viva is exposing me to alternative ways of growing food. I burn my fields because that is what I have been taught to do. Now I am learning to use the organic material around my other plants to keep nutrients and humidity in the soil.” – Jesus VillaCurious what the day-to-day of it looks like? Let us explain.. Eleven jóvenes, aged 18 to 29, registered to train at Playa Viva during the open-enrollment period, which was through July 2019. Each joven was invited to select an area of focus – maintenance, permaculture/farm, or kitchen – to apprentice and develop skills for future career objectives. We also invite each joven to spend some of their weekly commitment working in their own communities – Juluchuca, Rancho Nuevo, La Ceiba or Las Placitas, the four impact areas with whom Playa Viva focuses much attention and resources. The majority of the jóvenes elect to spend time developing projects they find important for their community and it’s members, or participating in existing projects such as Juluchuca Limpio.