What is EJ?
Youth Station (Estación Juventud -EJ-) is our institutional program for the Human Development of Tsotsil and Tseltal indigenous youth, in nine municipalities of Chiapas.
Youth Station was born in 2011 in order to contribute to the strengthening and autonomy of indigenous youth, for their personal and community development, present and future, through articulation, the development of initiatives, capacity building, skills and tools, and the generation of conditions for the improvement of the quality of life of the new indigenous generations in the region of incidence. Taking into account their condition and position generational, identity and gender afiliation. The program has as its thematic components: Art and Culture, Social Capital, Economy, Education, Gender Equity, Environment, Health and Technology.
Between 2011 and 2015, work was carried out to create the EJ Committees as well as to formalize the public spaces in which the EJs were installed in each municipality. Likewise, several actions were carried out to articulate youth in positive use of free time, information and communication technologies and development of human capacities, binding to their condition and generational, identity and gender position.
In 2015, an exhaustive review was made, both of annual evaluations and of the perception of young people and the work team, of the EJ results and analysis of the needs for the continuity of the program. Based on these results, it was determined that EJ has a community purpose in the sense that it seeks to improve the quality of life of families and communities by promoting youth leadership, strengthening the social fabric in communities, and promoting intergenerational articulation in order to promote community development.
Maintaining the figure of EJ Youth Committees (who independently manage their Youth Stations in each municipality), also maintaining the eight thematic components and the gender, generational and intercultural perspectives; EJ is currently focusing efforts on strengthening new generation leaderships in these predominantly indigenous communities; providing training, accompaniment, support and above all, creating the conditions for the full community participation of indigenous youth.
Youth Station has local youth committees in each of the municipal seats of the following municipalities of Chiapas: Aldama, Chalchihuitán, Chenalhó, Mitontic, Pantelhó, San Juan Cancuc, Santiago el Pinar, Sitalá and Tenejapa.
Through Estación Juventud we work with, for and for indigenous women, men, childs, adolescents and youth, tsotsiles and tseltales from Chiapas.
For Youth Station it is also important to always maintain communication with local authorities, traditional authorities, mothers and fathers as well as teaching and administrative personnel of the institutions of secondary and higher education present in these municipalities. We always seek to collaborate with key actors in the localities in which we work in order to build social cohesion through collective and participatory social work.
From a generational, cross-cultural and gender perspective, the Youth Station methodology is a social intervention based on popular, playful, experiential education with active techniques that generate action-reflection-action, always hand in hand with training and self-management.
An EJ Youth Committee is formed in each one of the municipal seats, this committee is made up of approximately ten young people, this committee is responsible for managing (maintaining, opening, caring for and administering the equipment and materials it has) a space public (provided by the municipal council) or private (provided by some family in the community) which functions as the physical Youth Station, the space in which the committee meets, in which more young people from the communities gather, in which they develop community participation ideas, in which activities are developed, organized by the committee, in favor of children, adolescents, young people or the community in general.
These committees appoint among them their committee chairman, who receives the cane of command (a symbol of community responsibility) and guards the seal of the Station (an element that gives them personality to legitimately communicate with local authorities when require managing spaces or special permits for the development of their activities).
Likewise, each committee appoints members or promoters for each of the eight thematic components of the program, according to the interests of each member, who are specially trained in these topics and propose and promote activities relevant to their component.
Some achievements of Estación Juventud:
- Production of a HipHop album in tsotsil and tseltal.
- Edition and distribution of four EJ magazines.
- Realization of 9 inter-municipal assemblies with youth from nine municipalities of Chiapas.
- Realization of 4 youth meeting forums in collaboration with organizations in Chiapas, Campeche and Yucatan.
- Accompaniment of young people in their application to international national university scholarships.
- Participation of young women on equal terms with men in EJ spaces.
- Link of EJ committees with other civil society organizations.
- Annual work plans and annual agendas of activities organized by the committees in collaboration with the territorial team of Proyecto Difa.
Model it EJ in other states of Mexico
Since 2018, the Youth Station in Calakmul, Campeche has been in development through JUEGAS, A.C., as an exercise in using the EJ Chiapas model and adapting it to the context of the state of Campeche and the particular priorities of the youth of Calakmul.
Since 2017, through FBV, A.C. Specific projects have been developed in favor of young people from Solidaridad, Quintana Roo, replicating the EJ Chiapas methodology and exploring the feasibility of bringing the entire model to this state.