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#OurStories: PFP Mexico City Volunteer Delia Vega Mercado

“It is all thanks to her joy for living, for giving and her huge respect and empathy for others.” —Francisco León

A very special Inner Leadership Workshop in Mexico City focused on leadership, communication, frustration management, and flexibility abilities and techniques. And though Play for Peace volunteers are incredibly valued and so important to the movement, there are some, like Delia Vega Mercado, who go the extra mile. Many of the activities carried out by Play for Peace are performed or supported by its volunteers; youths that got in touch with Play for Peace when they were kids or that have recently found out about it and felt its philosophy change their lives for the better. But while they're busy spreading the word, they might go through personal issues.

“Some of the youths have problems at home or have communication difficulties,” shares Francisco León of Play for Peace Mexico. So, who and how helps those volunteers with their everyday struggles? In Mexico, the answer comes in the form of one of the most supportive members of the club: Delia Vega Mercado. Delia joined Play for Peace just over a year ago. Though she may not be a facilitator or a founding member of the club, she is an engine of change and improvement within it. Due to her professional background - with degrees in psychology, pedagogy, and special education for troubled adults—and her personal approach—alternative therapies, herbal medicine, and magnetic therapy - she observes a bit more than an untrained eye. During club activities and peace sessions, Delia was able to notice the frustration, apparent personal issues, or opportunities for improvement in group handling abilities in the volunteers, and also noted the impact strict rules and curfews set by parents had on the volunteers.

With all this in mind, Delia began offering help and counseling those youths who felt as though they needed a helping hand. But because a good deed once started cannot be stopped, she decided to take things a step further and designed the weekend-long workshop for the youths and their parents. At the workshop, the participants learned about leadership and communication, and frustration management and the importance of being flexible through a series of role play activities and games.

“She has helped us all so much," said Francisco. "We don’t know how to thank her for what she has and keeps doing for us. It is all thanks to her joy for living, for giving and her huge respect and empathy for others. Delia is a very special member of our club.”