I joined the YMCA in Perú when I was 4 years old (I am 26 right now). I’ve attended most of the programs that my local YMCA offered as far as I can remember. When I was 15, I decided to join the leadership program of my local movement. That was one of the best choices I’ve ever made! I had the opportunity to develop as a leader, gain experience to improve my soft skills, and it brought me closer to God. Since then, I continued my journey with YMCA as a volunteer in several programs like the leadership program, camps, social programs, etc. Since 2016 I’m part of the local governance team, which allowed me to be part of my National Board between 2018-2019 and 2020-2021. I’m a YGOR (Youth in Governance Role) graduate at LACA YMCA. I am also a graduate Change Agent of Cohort 4 of the World Alliance of YMCAs. Nowadays, I have responsibilities in the Associate Development and Training Board and supporting my community in every way I can.
Can you tell us a bit about your experience in Chiang Mai?
In the beginning, I didn’t realize the magnitude of the World Council until I notice so many people who love the YMCA as much as I do. Two years before Chiang Mai, I went to the YMCA of Uruguay for volunteering. At the World Council, I had the chance to reunite with my friends from Uruguay, Pablo, and Gustavo. I also made so many new friends. I learned so much through the conversations with my working group about the challenges that each National Movement has. ‘Do you remember how it felt to be a YMCA member?’ This quote keeps me inspired, whenever I need the motivation to carry on. In our journey to better support our communities, we found a lot of common issues and challenges. I found myself thinking a lot about creating Safe Spaces in my community back home, and how important it is for young people to express themselves freely. The local cuisine was an incredible experience. I remember the soups being so spicy! Also, I will never forget that one salad with chili peppers; wow, it was so hot my eyes were teary for hours! I channel the inspiration from the World Council to keep learning and participating in the programs of YMCA Perú, YGOR, and the Change Agent program.
This is a unique space where you meet new people and reconnect with friends. The World Council also has a special way of motivating young people to continue their work in the YMCA and community. Attending the World Council means being part of the history of our global movement. It is the event where big decisions are being made, such as the election of new authorities, new statements that will set our strategy, the launch of new programs, and partnerships that focus on making the world a better place for everyone. I honestly can’t wait for the upcoming World Council to begin!