We are always excited to share when Play for Peace has spread to new communities where people can greatly benefit from our peace building efforts—and even more so when these new efforts are in a country we haven’t yet reached! This past weekend we hosted a training in El Salvador that was a great success. It was so successful that we are starting a new club there—the first in the country—while working with some wonderful and passionate youth.
Fatima Landaverde, a native of El Salvador, learned about Play for Peace a few years ago and immediately wanted to join our community and start a club in her home country. A passionate peace builder who works with local youth in Suchitoto, El Salvador, Fatima soon had the participation of young people in the area. Suchitoto was very affected by the civil war that occurred between 1980 and 1992, and the people there are still dealing with its effects. Gang violence is a huge challenge for children and youth, not only the fear of violence, but the concern that young people will join these gangs and continue the cycle of violence. For this community, Play for Peace is a chance for everyone to live in peace.
Led by certified trainer Andrés Armas, the training took place at La Casa de las Mujeres, an organization that generously offered us its facilities. Over two days, participants from several different communities in Suchitoto took part in activities focused on creating community and connection, as well as respect, trust, and fun. According to Belki, a participant from the second day of the workshop, the Play for Peace training made the group feel like they had always known each other. For Andrés, this sentiment brought much emotion, as it showed that his work with the group was truly helping them to learn from one another and form a community dedicated to creating and maintaining peace.
The fun was contagious and soon caught the attention of others not involved in the session at La Casa de las Mujeres. This includes Mariita, who works at La Casa de las Mujeres and was able to see what the group was learning and doing. At one point, the group invited her to participate, which she did with much happiness. The group’s willingness to create an inclusion atmosphere shows why Play for Peace is so important. Peace is a right for all people, regardless of our differences.
Thanks to Fatima and the many wonderful people who are supporting our efforts to create a more peaceful world, we are starting the process of creating a club in El Salvador. We hope to find the necessary resources to form this new club and are planning a second training in January. Stay tuned for more details about our work in El Salvador!