In Guatemala, AFSC works to build peace in Guatemala City neighborhoods. Through partnerships with schools, universities, community-based organizations, and public institutions, we are building an urban peace network focused on youth that encourages young people and adults to work together to reduce violence in their communities.
In 10 of the city´s neighborhoods, youth have organized Local Peace Networks, which regularly meet to build understanding among neighbors and plan activities to promote nonviolence.
A new pilot project, Schools for Peace, promotes mediation and conflict transformation as ways to encourage a culture of peace and citizen participation in the schools. The project promotes greater collaboration among teachers, administrative staff, students, and parents.
In addition, we have established alliances with different public sector institutions such as the Crime Prevention Commission of the National Civil Police, the Social Welfare Secretary, and the Humans Rights Office. These alliances allow us to create spaces where youth and public authorities can talk and exchange ideas, which promotes joint peace-building efforts and counters the negative stereotypes that exist about young people.