The Grand Council of the Crees

Indigenous Youth Empowerment for a Borderless Region

22 indigenous youth from 4 countries in Central America shared their experiences and worked together towards the construction of a regional network of Indigenous Youth

Posted: 2008-03-14

Spiritual Ceremony at Kan Tan Sacred Site

In October 2007, the project "Indigenous Youth Empowerment for a Borderless Region" was approved for execution by the Indigenous NGO Kus Kura S.C. (coordinator), Movimiento de Juventud Kuna (co-executor) and Youth Challenge International - Costa Rica (co-executor).

This project is sponsored by the European Union through PAIRCA (spanish acronym for Assistance Program for the Regional Integration of Central America).

The project's goals are:

  1. To Facilitate communication and cultural exchange experiences between young indigenous people from the Central American region.
  2. To carry out capacity building with indigenous youth leaders from 11 indigenous peoples groups from Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Guatemala.
  3. To promote indigenous youth participation to guarantee their impact on decision making processes in the region and internationally.
  4. To create an Indigenous Youth Network in Central America, oriented to promote regional union and the participation of indigenous youth in the region and internationally.

The project is divided in three stages which are:

  1. Regional Workshop for Indigenous Youth - Executed
  2. National Workshops in Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Guatemala - Currently under execution.
  3. Indigenous Youth Gathering in Guatemala - Planning.
Maya Mam Girl

I Regional Workshop for Indigenous Youth

From January 23rd-26th the First Regional Workshop for Indigenous Youth took place at Kan Tan Educational Finca, within the indigenous territory of Boruca in the southern region of Costa Rica.

During the 4 days of the workshop, 22 indigenous youth representatives from 4 countries in Central America shared their experiences and worked together towards the construction of a regional network of Indigenous Youth.

The participants became excited and committed with the knowledge gained about the workshop given the Indigenous Leader José Carlos Morales, on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Among the other issues covered, the participants were able to carry out empowerment activities, regional union and political incidence. These issues were given by young Costa Ricans with a great experience.

Workshop with Embera People

National Workshops

From February 25th-March 7th the first national workshops were carried out in Panamá with young representatives from Kuna, Emberá and Ngöbe-Buglé peoples.

A total of 60 young indigenous people were able to learn about the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Regional Union and Leadership. All the workshops were given by indigenous people: José Carlos Morales, Alancay Morales from the Brunka People and Iguaibiliguiña Hedman from the Kuna People.

These workshops were very successful and promoted the commitment of other parties to support the empowerment that indigenous youth require to strengthen their leadership in their communities, region and internationally.

Alancay Morales Garro
Project Director
Youth Coordinator
Kus Kura S.C.